21st Century Government Latest News
- 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.
- Posted byon May 16, 2011 at 2:18 PM EDT
Today, the President and Vice President released their 2010 financial disclosure reports.
The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires high-level federal officials to publicly disclose their personal financial interests. The public filing system serves to prevent financial conflicts of interest by providing for a systematic review of the finances of government officials. Those finances are set forth in annual disclosures which are reviewed and certified by ethics officials. Neither the President nor the Vice President have any conflicts of interest, and their reports have been reviewed and certified by the independent Office of Government Ethics. We are continuing this Administration's practice of affirmatively posting these forms online here in the interests of transparency:
- View the President's 2010 financial disclosure report (pdf)
- View the Vice President's 2010 financial disclosure report (pdf)
White House staff are also completing their forms and we anticipate they will be available here next month, also in electronic form.
- Posted byon May 3, 2011 at 9:28 AM EDT
For too long, the Federal Government allowed the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to fund ineffective and duplicative projects, failing to leverage advances in technology to achieve savings. The result is that taxpayer dollars have been wasted. This should never be tolerated, but particularly with the tough fiscal situation, it’s unacceptable. It’s time that we live within our means, cut the waste too prevalent in Washington, and live up to our responsibility to the American people.
The President has made it a priority of his Administration to change the way Washington does business. As he has said many times, including in his State of the Union Address, reducing overlap and duplication within the federal government is critical to ensuring that our government operates more efficiently and effectively.
When it comes to information technology, there is no better way to identify duplication than to look at the very infrastructure that powers duplicative systems. Since 1998, the number of Federal data centers has risen from 432 to more than 2,000. The proliferation of infrastructure has created an environment that enables redundant systems and applications to sprout like weeds – with hundreds of redundant applications, more than 24,000 websites and hundreds of HR and financial management systems across the government.
- Posted byon May 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM EDT
Two years ago, the White House launched official profiles on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Since then we’ve grown quite a bit, both in terms of the number of connections we’ve made through these sites, as well as other places on the web that now feature an official White House presence.
As I wrote then, technology continues to change how and where Americans get information and discuss important issues online. It’s also means that any organization, including the White House, must recognize that its website is only one part of an effective online platform.