Obama presses for agency consolidation
Roughly a month after announcing plans to seek authority to consolidate agencies, President Barack Obama has now sent Congress the Consolidating and Reforming Government Act of 2012, which would reinstate the power to reorganize the federal government.
The proposal includes a new requirement that any reorganization plan must save money or decrease the size of government, according to a White House statement. The act also would provide Congress a process to quickly hold an up-or-down vote on reorganization plans.
“This authority is essential to creating a 21st-century government that is fiscally responsible, works ever more efficiently and effectively for the American people, and helps make America more competitive,” Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a Feb. 16 letter accompanying the act addressed to House Speaker John Boehner.
Obama announced in January that if granted the authority to reorganize government – which previous presidents have held -- he would merge six business and trade agencies and several other related programs into one entity. The consolidation would save $3 billion over 10 years and cut 1,000 jobs, according to the administration.
Zients also told reporters in January that once Obama has the consolidation authority, there will be other proposals that address fragmentation within the government and further initiatives to save money and boost efficiency.
Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.