Efficient Instructions

By Thomas Duffy / August 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM

With a nod toward giving the taxpayer what he's paying for, the top White House budget officer this week sent a memo to all government department heads outlining how the Obama administration wants to operate a more efficient, effective and accountable government.

In his Aug. 17 memo, Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew said there are two management efforts that need the immediate attention of all department chief operating officers:

"First, under the GPRA Management Act, COOs are responsible for leading their agency's efforts to set priority goals; designating a senior official responsible for each goal; and reviewing progress quarterly to improve performance and reduce costs. The attached guidance provides more information on the Act's requirements for agencies

Second, COOs must ensure that their agencies are redoubling their efforts to cut waste, as required by Executive Order 13576, "delivering an Efficient, Effective and Accountable Government." Executive Order 13576 initiated the Campaign to Cut Waste and charged the Vice President with meeting with cabinet members to monitor agency progress on waste reduction, performance and management improvements. Chief Financial Officers are expected to lead agency efforts to implement the requirements of the Campaign to Cut waste, in accordance with guidance issued by the Controller on June 28, 2011."

Lew's memo includes a 39-page attachment that gives detailed instructions to the department COOs on how to carry out these efforts.