OMBlog

  • Time is Running out to SAVE

    As many of you know, on July 8, President Obama launched the second annual SAVE Award contest, a chance for federal workers to submit their best ideas about how to cut waste and improve government performance. To date, the response has been impressive, with 11,000 ideas submitted in just over a week. A new feature of this year’s contest is that federal employees also have the opportunity to vote and comment upon their fellow workers’ ideas, and already more than 95,000 votes have been cast -- yet another sign of how federal workers are getting into the saving act.

  • ACUS is Back

    The President just appointed all 10 members of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) including OMB’s own Preeta Bansal, our General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor, as Vice Chair of the Council, and Michael Fitzpatrick, our Associate Administrator at OIRA, as a member of the ACUS Council.

  • Thinking Long-Term

    Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released its long-term budget outlook. As I wrote at the time, the report confirms that the Affordable Care Act, if implemented effectively, can play an important role in moving toward a healthier fiscal future. Brad DeLong recently highlighted how large that role is by comparing last year’s report to this year’s, and I thought it was worth underscoring the point.

  • SAVE More

    In just three weeks, federal employees submitted more than 38,000 ideas identifying opportunities to save money and improve performance. After these were winnowed to a final four, the top idea was voted on by tens of thousands of Americans, and the winner – Nancy Fichtner from Loma, Colorado – came to the White House to present her proposal to save money in how the VA uses prescription medication. As we head into the FY 2012 budget season, the President today kicked off the second annual SAVE Award, asking workers on the frontlines to take a hard look again and to share their ideas and insight at www.SAVEAward.gov.

  • Cutting Waste and Saving Money Through Contracting Reform

    In March 2009, the President directed agencies to save $40 billion annually by Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 through contracting and to reduce the use of high-risk contracts. Last December, OMB reported on agency plans to save $19 billion in FY 2010, and agencies are on track to meet that savings goal as well as the larger one for 2011.

  • Four for the Fourth

    I’ve written a lot lately about how the information technology gap between the public and private sectors is driving a gap in productivity and how closing this gap is key to creating a government that is efficient and effective.

  • CBO’s Long-Term Budget Outlook

    The Congressional Budget Office today released its long-term budget outlook. Just like the long-term outlook in our own Budget, the CBO report concludes that we are on an unsustainable fiscal course. About this, there is no ambiguity.

  • Buying in Bulk

    For the past few weeks, I’ve blogged about common-sense steps we are taking across the federal government to cut waste and bring better services to the American people.

  • Cutting Waste by Reforming IT

    As I’ve written before, one source of ineffective and inefficient government is the technology gap between the public and private sectors.

  • Life is a Series of Hellos and Goodbyes

    Earlier this week, I announced that I will be stepping down as OMB Director. It has been a great honor to serve in President Obama’s Cabinet, and the decision to step down was not an easy one.

  • PaymentAccuracy.gov

    As I wrote recently, one of the steps we are taking to cut waste in government and boost performance is establishing a Do Not Pay List, a single source through which all agencies can check the status of a potential contractor or individual, so that a barred or ineligible individual or organization is not paid erroneously. This is part of a sustained effort we have taken to go after the $100 billion wasted in improper payments each year by the federal government.

  • Do Not Pay? Do Read This Post

    Over the past few weeks (and since taking office 16 months ago), we have focused on cutting waste, boosting efficiency, and creating a government more open and responsive to the American people.

  • New York and the New England Journal of Medicine

    Yesterday, I was in New York for a series of meetings with a health-care related theme. For instance, I ran with the Mighty Milers of PS 128 in Washington Heights who are part of an innovative program to get children moving and to stem the epidemic of childhood obesity. And later that day, I met with doctors and administrators at the NYU Medical School and Langone Medical Center where I saw firsthand how they are using cutting-edge technology – in the operating room and in the executive suite -- to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and to constantly push their organization toward higher-quality medicine.

  • Moving with the Mighty Milers

    Summer is a great opportunity for communities to address two of the challenges facing kids nationwide when school lets out: unhealthy eating habits and the summer reading gap. That’s why First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the Administration-wide Let’s Read. Let’s Move. initiative to combat childhood obesity and summer reading loss by encouraging youth to read and participate in physical activity, as well as providing access to healthy food. As part of that initiative, I joined a group of students today in upper Manhattan who are leading the charge against childhood obesity. They are the Mighty Milers of PS 128 and they have collectively run over 42,000 miles this year!

  • Uncle Sam Switches Plans

    The effort to cut waste and modernize government is truly an Administration-wide one. Not only are a wide array of agencies getting into the act — from IT projects killed at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the reform of the crop insurance program at the Department of Agriculture, but also federal workers.

  • The Check is Not in the Mail

    Last week, I spoke about the President’s commitment to create a government that is efficient, effective, transparent, and responsive. Since then, the Administration has unveiled some of the steps we are taking toward this goal: from identifying the bottom 5 percent of government programs to disposing of excess buildings and real estate and the Agriculture Department’s re-negotiating of its contract with crop insurance companies (which will reduce deficits by $4 billion over ten years).

  • Eliminating Waste by Getting Rid of Unneeded Federal Real Estate

    The Federal Government is the largest property owner and energy user in the country, with an inventory that includes 1.2 million buildings, structures, and land parcels. This includes 14,000 building and structures currently designated as excess and 55,000 identified as under- and not-utilized. Currently, Federal agencies operate and maintain more real property assets than necessary, unnecessarily raising costs to the taxpayer.

  • More Computing Power on Your Belt Than at Your Desk?

    In a blog posting, Tom Shoop raised a question about a sentence in my speech yesterday that, "at one time, a federal worker went to the office and had access to cutting-edge computer power and programs. Now, he often has more of both clipped to a device on his belt." Tom noted that as impressive as it is, he wasn’t sure that his Android-based Smartphone has anywhere near the computing power of even an eight- or ten-year-old PC.

  • Closing the IT Gap

    When many of my colleagues went from the cutting-edge, social media-focused Obama presidential campaign into the federal government, they remarked that it was like going from an X-box to an Atari.

  • The Affordable Care Act and the Deficit

    CBO Director Doug Elmendorf recently gave a presentation on health costs and the fiscal outlook. Doug concludes that the federal budget remains on an unsustainable course even after enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and I wholly agree with him.