Zients: Why streamlining government makes sense

Granting President Barack Obama the authority to streamline and reorganize government is “common sense and good management,” according to the Office of Management and Budget’s acting director.

In a March 27 op-ed for Politico, OMB’s Jeffrey Zients and John Engler, former Michigan governor who now heads the Business Roundtable, noted that while the world has evolved radically in the past three decades, “the federal government has stayed stuck in the past.”

Throughout the years, the federal government has added new programs and offices but infrequently downsized or eliminated departments or agencies. The consequences from that include overlapping and duplicative responsibilities that waste taxpayers’ money and culminate in more bureaucracy, as detailed by a Feb. 29 report by the Government Accountability Office, the authors write.

In January, Obama called on Congress to reinstate a power previously held by 20th-century presidents that allowed them to submit plans to Congress to restructure government. Zients has emerged as his point man on the request, urging Congress to grant the authority in various public appearances.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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