Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Executive Order on Cutting Federal Waste - Will Offer Public Input

The President issued an Executive Order yesterday that requires every executive agency to conduct an internal review of how their funds are being wasted or abused and to recommend changes they can pursue to operate more efficiently. According to the President, "There is duplication and redundancy everywhere. Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted on activities that are not delivering results."

Sound familiar? It should. Back in 2011, President Obama issued an EO (No. 13589) to Promote Efficient Spending, citing the Administration's commitment to cutting waste in Federal Government Spending and identifying opportunities to promote efficient and effective spending. At the time, each Executive Agency was required to establish a plan for reducing the costs of travel, information technology, printing, motor vehicle fleets, and promotional items. No word on how that exercise went.

This latest audit or review is a little bit different from earlier reviews however. This will be spearheaded by the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and will invite public input. We don't ever recall such a study that utilized public input but we're sure that there will be many. For starters, three Senators; Lankford from Oklahoma, McCain from Arizona, and Flake, also from Airizona, have published books on Government waste (see Federal Fumbles, America's Most Wasted (which doesn't refer to drug addictions), and PORKemon Go). It is unknown how and at what point in the process, public input will be solicited.

On a related note, the President's budget proposal expected this week will seek significant reductions in the Federal workforce (source) with housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting, and research expected to take the most significant hits. The Energy Department cuts could impact many contractors as the department that funds research on LED light bulbs, electric trucks, advanced batteries and bio-fuels, is looking at a 30% cut.

Hang on. This could be Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

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