January 13, 2012

Streamlining Federal Agencies Should Include Management Accountability

Bruce Yandle

Distinguished Adjunct Fellow

President Obama's desire to redraw organizational charts and streamline government is commendable. In organizations as large and complex as federal agencies and bureaus, there is always duplication of services and overlapping coverage. As a result, there are excessive administrative staff and costs that may be reduced. 

Every president in recent memory has put a shoulder to the wheel and made efforts to reduce paper work, reinvent government, and eliminate unnecessary administration burdens. But while redrawing the boxes and lines of responsibility, there must be greater emphasis placed on management accountability. In a digital age, lines to authority can be redrawn without changing boxes. While redrawing lines and boxes, the executive branch could get everyone in the mood for more stringent times by simply cutting budgets and getting tough on production. Scarcity can be the prelude to plenty.