For Immediate Release March 11, 2011
from The White House Office of the Press Secretary
March 11, 2011
MEMORANDUM FOR THE
HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Government Reform for Competitiveness and Innovation
As I outlined in my State of the Union address to the Congress on
January 25, 2011, winning the future in the global economy will require
reducing our deficit while investing in areas critical to long-term
economic growth and competitiveness such as education, innovation, and
infrastructure. By out-educating, out-innovating, and out-building our
competitors, we will enable our Nation to grow, create jobs, and thrive
in the years ahead.
At the same time, we cannot win the future with a government built for
the past. We live and do business in the information age, but the
organization of the Federal Government has not kept pace. Government
agencies have grown without overall strategic planning and duplicative
programs have sprung up, making it harder for each to reach its goals.
Already, my Administration has taken on this waste and duplication.
My current budget proposes more than 200 terminations, reductions, and
savings in agency programs totaling approximately $30 billion in fiscal
year 2012. And in areas as varied as surface transportation to job
training, public health, and education, I have proposed to consolidate
scores of programs into more focused, effective, and streamlined
But we must go further. Winning the future will take a government that
judiciously allocates scarce government resources to maximize its
efficiency and effectiveness so that it can best support American
competitiveness and innovation. Now is the time to act to consolidate
and reorganize the executive branch of the Federal Government in a way
that best serves this goal.
By this memorandum, I assign our Nation's first Chief Performance
Officer, who also serves as the Deputy Director for Management of the
Office of Management and Budget (the "Chief Performance Officer"), the
responsibility of leading the effort to create a plan for the
restructuring and streamlining of the executive branch of the Federal
Government. The first focus of this effort shall be on the executive
departments and agencies and the functions that support one of our most
important priorities -- increasing trade, exports, and our overall
competitiveness ("trade and competitiveness").
Accordingly, I direct the following:
(1) The Chief Performance Officer shall establish a Government Reform
for Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative, led by an Executive
Director, to conduct a comprehensive review of the Federal agencies and
programs involved in trade and competitiveness, including analyzing
their scope and effectiveness, areas of overlap and duplication, unmet
needs, and possible cost savings.
(2) As part of this review, the Chief Performance Officer and Executive
Director shall confer broadly with the heads and staff of executive
departments and agencies, including the offices and agencies within the
Executive Office of the President (collectively, the "agencies"). They
should also consult broadly with external stakeholders, including
Members of Congress, business leaders, unions, nongovernmental
organizations, and government reform experts, to hear their individual
and independent perspectives on what we are doing well and where we
could improve our effectiveness and efficiency.
(3) Within 90 days from the date of this memorandum, the Chief
Performance Officer shall submit recommendations to me for presidential
and, ultimately, congressional action to restructure and streamline
Federal Government programs focused on trade and competitiveness, based
on the following principles:
(a) the functions of the executive
branch of the Federal Government involved in trade and competitiveness
should be organized so that the Federal Government can most efficiently
and effectively facilitate the competitiveness of American businesses,
large and small, and American workers in the changing global economy;
(b) the responsibilities, authorities, programs, and requirements of
agencies should be transparent, understandable, and easily accessible
to the American public; and
(c) agencies and programs should be organized to reduce inefficiencies
and overlapping responsibilities or functions, maximize return on
taxpayer dollars, and best serve the American public.
(4) Agencies shall provide, consistent with law, information and
assistance requested by the Chief Performance Officer and Executive
Director to inform their work as directed by this memorandum.
(5) Agencies shall carry out the provisions of this memorandum to the
extent permitted by law and consistent with their statutory and
regulatory authorities and their enforcement mechanisms.
(6) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right
or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity,
by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or
entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(7) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby
authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal
# # #