President Barack Obama said Monday he has directed his Cabinet to expand on the progress made during his first term to make the government smarter, more innovative, and more accountable.
In remarks in the State Dining Room of the White House, Obama said his administration has worked diligently over the past four and a half years to make dealing with the federal government more high-technology and user-friendly.
"We are the first to confess that progress has not always come quick, and major challenges still remain," Obama said. "But we've made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent, and more accountable than ever before."
Obama cited efforts to deliver services better, faster, and more efficiently while also reducing waste and saving taxpayers money.
The president claimed that the administration has identified more than $2.5 billion in savings across the federal government just by working to get rid of overlapping IT systems.
"So we've made some good progress on all fronts, but now we need to do more," Obama said, noting that he held a meeting with his Cabinet, including several new members from the private sector.
"I directed the Cabinet to develop an aggressive management agenda for my second term that delivers a smarter, more innovative, and more accountable government for its citizens," he added. "And we're going to continue to adopt good ideas from the private sector."
Obama said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will lead the effort.
The president also called on Congress to provide him with the authority to reorganize and consolidate the federal bureaucracy.
"Almost every President from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan had this authority to redesign the federal government, the executive branch, to deliver services better," Obama said. "Currently, we do not have that capacity."
He added, "And so I'm going to keep on doing what we can administratively, but we sure could use Congress's help, particularly at a time when Congress is saying they want more efficient government -- they give a lot of lip service to it -- and we're operating under severe fiscal constraints."
by RTT Staff Writer
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