21st Century Government Latest News
- Posted byon June 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM EDT
As the President points out in this video, our government doesn’t need a website dedicated to foresters who play the fiddle. We also don’t need multiple sites dealing with invasive plants (here and here). And I‘m pretty sure the website dedicated to the Centennial of Flight can come down... particularly since the Centennial was in 2003.
As President Obama has said, we can’t win the future with a government of the past. How our government uses the internet to communicate and deliver services is an obvious and critical part of this modernization effort.
Today, there are nearly 2,000 top-level federal .gov domains (this means a top-level url, [WEBSITENAME].gov, that links to a distinct website). This includes WhiteHouse.gov, as well as others like USDA.gov, USASpending.gov, NOAA.gov and USA.gov. Under many of these domains are smaller sub-sites and microsites resulting in an estimated 24,000 websites of varying purpose, design, navigation, usability, and accessibility.
While many government websites each deliver value to the taxpayer through easy-to-use services and information, an overall online landscape of literally thousands of websites – each focusing on a specific topic or organization – can create confusion and inefficiency.
- Posted byon June 13, 2011 at 1:44 PM EDT
Today, Vice President Joe Biden sent the email below to the White House email list announcing the new Campaign to Cut Waste - an effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.
If you didn't get the email, be sure to sign up for the White House email list.
Did you know that the government spends millions to maintain buildings that have sat vacant for years? Or that your tax dollars pay to needlessly ship copies of the Federal Register to thousands of government offices across the country even though the same information is available online?
And I bet you didn't know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I'm sure it's a wonderful species, but we can't afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. It's just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.
This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we’re facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it's a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody.
That’s why President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.
Like millions of American families, the Federal Government has to take a hard look at spending and live within its means. Most of these cuts we’re going to make are small. They won’t close our deficit or solve all of our fiscal problems. However, no amount of waste is acceptable, and these cuts will add up over time. This year alone we’ve found $33 billion in savings, but we know there’s a lot more work to be done.
When we passed the Recovery Act back in 2009, President Obama insisted that we use that program to set a new standard in government transparency and accountability. And he appointed me as “Sheriff Joe” to make sure the job gets done.
Now, there were a lot of naysayers back then who said that there was no way we could implement the Recovery Act without massive waste, fraud and abuse.
You know what? They were wrong. Thanks to our diligence (and some help from advanced computer models and sophisticated data analysis), the Recovery Act has had an unprecedentedly low level of fraud, with less than 0.6% of all awards experiencing any waste or abuse.
There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t apply these same principles and techniques to all government spending.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do with the help of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board, a group composed of independent inspectors general and high-level agency officials who will help me root out waste, fraud and abuse across the government. Helping me ensure that your tax dollars are being spent on things that matter, like investments in education, innovation and improving our infrastructure.
So, folks, we’re changing the way your government does business (and spends your hard-earned tax dollars), and I think you’re going to like the results.
Vice President Joe Biden
P.S. If you’re interested in keeping up with our progress in hunting down wasteful spending, you can sign up for regular email updates.
- Posted byon June 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM EDT
Ed. Note: At 11:00 AM, the Vice President will make an announcement regarding the Administration’s ongoing effort to make government more accountable to the American people. Watch the event live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
In a video message, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the Campaign to Cut Waste today, which will hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government. “Targeting waste and making government more efficient have been a priority for my administration since day one. But as we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game,” said the President in the video, “No amount of waste is acceptable – not when it’s your money; not at a time when so many families are already cutting back.”
- Posted byon June 3, 2011 at 4:12 PM EDT
The last time the Federal government was significantly reorganized was in the age of black and white TV – a time when the global economy looked quite different from today. As many of you know, the President announced in his State of the Union Address in January that in order to win the future, we must reform our government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive and innovative America. He tasked me with starting this effort with a focus on trade and exports, noting that a dozen different agencies deal in these areas.
Today the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency released a new report that underscores the need for this review of the federal government’s structure and how it can be updated to eliminate duplication and fragmentation and better support the nation’s competitiveness a 21st Century global economy.
Over the last few months, Lisa Brown, the Executive Director of this effort, and I, and our team at OMB, have been hard at work gathering ideas, input, and advice from as many stakeholders as possible, hearing what works and what doesn’t, and where duplication and fragmentation exist, in order to develop informed recommendations for the President.
- Posted byon May 27, 2011 at 4:16 PM EDT
In September 2009, the President announced that – for the first time in history – the White House would routinely release visitor records. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in February 2011. Today’s release also includes several visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in April 2011 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the grand total of records that this White House has released to nearly 1.3 million records. You can view them all in our Disclosures section.
Ed. Note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.
- Posted byon May 26, 2011 at 8:00 AM EDT
Ed. Note: Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal on 21st-Century Regulation and the ways federal agencies are eliminating unnecessary rules to save businesses money. Read it here. Sign up for email updates from the White House for news on 21st Century Government.
Earlier this year President Obama outlined his regulatory strategy – one that protects public health and welfare while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. As a key part of that plan, the President called for an unprecedented government-wide review of rules already on the books to identify which ones need to be changed or removed because they're out-of-date, unnecessary, or just don't make sense.
Today, the results of that review are in. More than two dozen Agencies have identified initiatives with the potential to eliminate tens of millions of hours in reporting burdens, and billions of dollars in regulatory costs, and this is just the beginning. Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in the Wall Street Journal today:
The initial review announced today is just the start of an ongoing process. Our goal is to change the regulatory culture of Washington by constantly asking what's working and what isn't. To achieve that goal, we need to obtain real-world evidence and data. We also need to draw on the experience and wisdom of the American people—which is why the president has put an emphasis on asking the public for their comments, ideas and suggestions. And so, before today's plans are finalized, the public will weigh in.
Now's your chance to weigh in. Visit whitehouse.gov/regulatoryreform to read the agency plans and share your comments, feedback and questions.
Here are a few highlights from the agency plans (read them all here):
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing a final rule that will remove over 1.9 million annual hours of redundant reporting burdens on employers and save more than $40 million in annual costs. Businesses will no longer be saddled with the obligation to fill out unnecessary government forms, meaning that their employees will have more time to be productive and do their real work.
- EPA will propose to eliminate the redundant obligation for many states to require air pollution vapor recovery systems at local gas stations because modern vehicles already have effective air pollution control technologies. The anticipated annual savings are about $67 million.
- The Departments of Commerce and State are undertaking a series of steps to eliminate unnecessary barriers to exports, including duplicative and unnecessary regulatory requirements, thus reducing the cumulative burden and uncertainty faced by American companies and their trading partners. These steps will make it a lot easier for American companies to reach new markets, increasing our exports while creating jobs here at home.
Want to learn more about the ways the Obama Administration is changing the culture in Washington? Sign up for email updates on 21st Century Government.