- Posted byon January 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM EST
In May, we released our Terminations, Reductions, and Savings volume. It put forward more than 120 cuts and reductions, totaling $17 billion, to programs that were duplicative, ineffective, or outdated. At the time, cynics said that we’d never be able to eliminate these programs – some of which had been around for decades. And it’s true that every one of the programs has a supporter, and there have been – and will continue to be – vocal and powerful interests that oppose almost any budget cut.
- Posted byon January 14, 2010 at 1:12 PM EST
This afternoon, I will participate in the White House Forum on Modernizing Government. More than 50 of the nation’s leading CEOS are attending today’s forum, bringing their ideas for how the government can use technology to save money and improve performance.
- Posted byon December 14, 2009 at 6:29 AM EST
We are closer than ever before to passing fiscally responsible health reform legislation. So it’s not a surprise that the most reflexively and ideologically partisan commentators are lashing out. Today, it’s the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.
- Posted byon December 12, 2009 at 4:49 PM EST
Congratulations, Nancy Fichtner, on becoming the first-ever winner of the President’s SAVE Award — a contest for Federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently. Since voting began on Monday, OMB received 84,670 and her idea was picked from the “final four” as the winner. On Monday, December 21, Nancy will present her idea to President Obama at the White House.
- Posted byon December 9, 2009 at 12:31 PM EST
As many of you know, earlier this year, President Obama launched the SAVE Award — a program that offered every federal employee the chance to submit ideas about how government can save money and perform better. Over the course of three weeks, federal employees submitted more than 38,000 ideas. Staff at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) assessed the submissions and narrowed them down to the final four ideas presented below.
- Posted byon December 8, 2009 at 12:51 PM EST
During the first decade of the last century when Theodore Roosevelt sat in the Oval Office, my great-grandparents emigrated from Hungary to the United States. On Friday, in the first decade of this century, I sat in the Roosevelt Room – adorned with a portrait of the Rough Rider – for a fascinating meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary.
- Posted byon December 8, 2009 at 10:21 AM EST
On his very first day in office, President Obama signed a memorandum to all federal agencies directing them to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve.On his very first day in office, President Obama signed a memorandum to all federal agencies directing them to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve.
As an example of the steps taken in response, the White House, for the first time ever, now publishes the names of visitors. We are also publishing online never-before-available data about federal spending and research. At Data.gov, for instance, what started as 47 data sets from a small group of federal agencies has grown into more than 118,000 today – with thousands more ready to be released starting this week. And in March, the Attorney General published updated FOIA guidelines, establishing a presumption in favor of voluntary disclosure of government information – an important step toward enabling the American people to see how their government works for them. There have been other advancements, from providing online access to White House staff financial reports and salaries, adopting a tough new state secrets policy, reversing an executive order that previously limited access to presidential records, and web-casting White House meetings and conferences.By themselves, however, these steps do not provide the transformation in the philosophy of governing that the President wants. They are improvements over past practice, to be sure, and valuable ones. But more needs to be done.That is why, at the end of May, the Administration launched the Open Government Initiative (OGI). This unique outreach effort, led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, sparked a never-before-seen collaboration between the public and the government. We asked questions, and you provided answers. We responded, and you offered alternatives. By the end of the three-month outreach period, tens of thousands of Americans participated, and thousands of ideas were generated.Since the OGI outreach ended, we’ve been pouring over the suggestions. We’ve talked with outside experts. We’ve evaluated and re-evaluated the steps we want to implement government-wide. And as a result, today we are releasing the Open Government Directive and the Open Government Progress Report to the American People.The directive, sent to the head of every federal department and agency today, instructs the agencies to take specific actions to open their operations to the public. The three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration are at the heart of this directive. Transparency promotes accountability. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise to government initiatives. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the federal government, across levels of government, and between the government and private institutions.
- Posted byon December 7, 2009 at 4:56 PM EST
Atul Gawande — surgeon and journalist — once again writes a trenchant article examining a key question about health reform: in particular, how can we improve care and reduce costs? Gawande’s answer: there is no single, right answer.
- Posted byon December 7, 2009 at 8:13 AM EST
At the end of September, OMB launched the President’s SAVE Award – a contest for federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently.
- Posted byon December 4, 2009 at 3:21 PM EST
One of the criticisms leveled by skeptics of health insurance reform is that the hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare savings being proposed won’t actually be implemented since efforts to cut waste never stick. "Congress is notorious for passing Medicare savings, and then after the cuts take place and the political groups get activated, we restore all the money," one Republican congressman told the Wall Street Journal last month.
- Posted byon November 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM EST
For those skeptical about the ability to restrain health care cost growth in heath reform, read Ron Brownstein’s latest article on how the bills now being considered in Congress would transform the health care system so that it delivers better care to more Americans at far less cost.
- Posted byon November 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM EST
This weekend, the Senate completed the OMB team when it confirmed Dan Gordon to lead the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). Dan brings more than two decades of professional contracting experience to OMB, having most recently served as Acting General Counsel at GAO. He understands the President’s goal of improving the contracting system in order to provide the best value for taxpayers. Dan will be at the center of this effort to deliver better value to the American people at a lower cost to the government’s bottom line.
- Posted byon November 20, 2009 at 10:15 AM EST
In today’s Washington Post, I have an op-ed discussing an issue critical to the country’s fiscal future: health-care reform that provides the highest quality of care and helps stem rising health-care costs. In the piece, I lay out the four key pillars of fiscally-responsible health reform as identified by a group of the nation’s leading economists: deficit neutrality, a tax on high-cost plans, a Medicare commission, and delivery system reform. As the debate moves to the Senate and we move closer to a final bill, I argue that the greatest risk we run is not completing health reform and letting this opportunity to lay a new foundation for our economy and our country pass us by.
- Posted byon November 18, 2009 at 10:25 AM EST
Each year, taxpayers lose billions of dollars in wasteful improper payments by the federal government to individuals, organizations, and contractors. "Improper payments" is an umbrella term that covers a number of financial transactions — overpayments to individuals or firms is one example; benefit payments to ineligible program participants is another. In 2008, improper payments totaled $72 billion; in 2009, they totaled $98 billion — an increase driven by improved detection and the significant increase in federal outlays associated with the economic downturn. These errors and mistakes are unacceptable. Taxpayers deserve to know that their dollars are being spent wisely and effectively.
- Posted byon November 10, 2009 at 2:07 PM EST
Every two weeks or so, there seems to be a story ringing the alarm bells over the fiscal dimension of health reform. As I've said time and again, the President is committed to signing a health reform bill that is deficit neutral in the first decade — and deficit reducing thereafter. The legislation under consideration in the Senate and the bill passed Saturday by the House both meet these tests.
- Posted byon November 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM EST
Last Friday marked the end of the first month of the OMB pedometer challenge. As a team, we took a whopping 51,337,900 in the first month. This is equivalent to walking almost 26,000 miles — over a thousand miles more than walking the full circumference of the earth. Quite an accomplishment.
- Posted byon November 3, 2009 at 12:18 PM EST
I delivered a speech today at New York University about the Administration’s efforts to jumpstart the economy and to build a secure and prosperous recovery by putting the nation on a path to fiscal sustainability — issues that are especially important to the students of today and generations to come.
- Posted byon October 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM EST
Today on Capitol Hill, OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeff Zients testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee about the Administration’s efforts to improve the performance of the federal government so that it is more efficient and effective.
- Posted byon October 26, 2009 at 1:25 PM EST
As I have said repeatedly — and as my colleague, Christy Romer, is discussing today at the Center for American Progress — reducing health care cost growth is the key to our fiscal future. To anyone who has studied our fiscal facts, this central conclusion seems indisputable.
- Posted byon October 22, 2009 at 6:15 PM EST
We often hear about people who are unlucky in love, but what of those who are unlucky in the business cycle? What is the impact of being born two decades before a significant economic downturn, such that you graduate from college and enter the labor force in the middle of a period of high unemployment? As the class of 2009 is keenly aware, entering the labor market during a recession has immediate negative effects. Job offers are harder to find: according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, less than 20 percent of the class of 2009 graduated from college with a job offer in hand, compared to 25 percent in the class of 2008 and more than 50 percent in the class of 2007. Whereas year to year starting salaries on average tend to increase, with the tough competition in this year’s labor market, average starting offers for the class of 2009 are slightly down.
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