21st Century Government
Campaign
to Cut Waste

President Obama and Vice President Biden launch the Campaign to Cut Waste, which will hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the Federal Government.

Read the executive order

21st Century Government Latest News

  • More Than Two Million Records Released

    In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in October 2011. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in December 2011 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release marks a new milestone, bringing the total number of records made public by this White House to more than two million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

    Ed. Note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.

  • President Obama Delivers the 2012 State of the Union

    Tonight, as President Obama wrapped up his State of the Union, he said, "As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong."

    Throughout the speech, he discussed ideas for building an America that lasts. He called it a blueprint for the future and talked about ways to make his vision reality. Learn more about those ideas.

    Miss something the President said? To read the full remarks, go here. Or watch the video.

    Want to get more out of the enhanced version of the State of the Union? Check out the slides after the jump.

  • An America Built to Last

    President Obama delivers the 2012 State of the Union

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    As President Obama spoke tonight, the phrase he returned to again and again was "building an America that lasts."

    We've put together a Blueprint that outlines the ideas in tonight's State of the Union and shows what it will take to achieve that vision. Check it out.

    Right now, a group of policy experts and senior White House staff are discussing the speech and answering your questions on WH.gov/live.

    And later tonight, we'll share video of the President's remarks and a transcript so you can read every line.

    Be sure to check back.


    Learn more

     

  • More Than 1.9 Million Records Released

    In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in September 2011. Today’s release also includes several visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in November 2011 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 1.9 million records—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

    Ed. Note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.

     

  • Seeking Your Input on the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan

    On September 20, 2011, on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, the President announced the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan.  The Plan was developed through a process that involved extensive consultations with external stakeholders, including a broad range of civil society groups and members of the private sector, to gather ideas on open government.  As we continue our work to implement the National Action Plan, we want your help.  Specifically, we’d like your input and recommendations on how to improve and help facilitate public participation – your participation – in government.      

    The United States committed to undertake 26 Open Government initiatives in the National Action Plan, and we are working to implement each of them now.  For example, the White House recently announced that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be the senior U.S. official to lead implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an effort to ensure that taxpayers receive every dollar due for extraction of our natural resources.  A major milestone was also reached in the development of an open government platform that will enable governments around the world to stand up their own open government data sites. And just last week, the President fulfilled a commitment made in the National Action Plan to begin a government-wide effort to reform and modernize records management policies and practices.    

    We are now requesting your assistance with one of the initiatives in the U.S. National Action Plan designed to promote public participation: 

    Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation. We will identify best practices for public participation in government and suggest metrics that will allow agencies to assess progress toward the goal of becoming more participatory. This effort will highlight those agencies that have incorporated the most useful and robust forms of public participation in order to encourage other agencies to learn from their examples.” 

    Given the focus of this initiative, we thought it would be most appropriate to invite you to provide input and ideas on best practices and metrics for public participation, including but not limited to suggestions and recommendations that address the following questions:

    • What are the appropriate measures for tracking and evaluating participation efforts in agency Open Government Plans?
    • What should be the minimum standard of good participation?
    • How should participation activities be compared across agencies with different programs, amounts of regulatory activity, budgets, staff sizes, etc.?
    • What are the most effective forms of technology and web tools to encourage public participation, engage with the private sector/non-profit and academic communities, and provide the public with greater and more meaningful opportunities to influence agencies’ plans?
    • What are possible mechanisms for agencies to increase the level of diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds brought to bear in their activities and decisions?
    • What are the most effective strategies for ensuring that participation is well-informed?
    • What are some examples of success stories involving strong public participation, as well as less-than-successful efforts, and what lessons can be drawn from them?

    Please send your thoughts to us at opengov@ostp.gov or use the web form provided, by January 3, 2012.  We will consider your ideas and input as we continue to implement the U.S. National Action Plan and develop this best practices guidance on public participation. 

    Thank you.

  • Preventing Hunger and Protecting Taxpayers: Our Renewed Efforts to Combat SNAP Fraud

    Ed. Note: This has been cross-posted from the United States Department of Agriculture blog.

    In recent years, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as food stamps – has demonstrated an exceptional record in program integrity and stewardship of taxpayer dollars.  The program currently serves as a bridge to success for over 46 million Americans who are at risk of being hungry when they face challenging economic times. More than half of those who rely on the program are children, elderly or the disabled, and many participants are newly unemployed and never thought they would be living in poverty. The program has never been more important and neither has the need to be a good steward of its dollars.  In this vein, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the Administration’s new Campaign to Cut Waste in government spending in June to eliminate misspent tax dollars and USDA strongly supports this effort.

    Today we are reinforcing this commitment, strengthening our resolve to ensure program integrity and working on behalf of American taxpayers to protect the federal investment in SNAP and make sure the program is targeted towards those families who need it the most.   While we recognize that fraud occurs relatively infrequently in SNAP, it has great potential to undermine public confidence in government and jeopardize the ability of the program to serve the millions of struggling families who rely on benefits each month.

    Thankfully, the vast majority of SNAP recipients are honest people who spend their benefits to meet basic nutritional needs and to put food on the table. Data shows that illegal activity – such as selling benefits to others for cash – only affects roughly one cent on the dollar. Still, we cannot tolerate even the smallest abuse of taxpayer resources. That’s why we have implemented aggressive strategies to continue to improve SNAP integrity.