Obama wants trade, export reorg plans in 90 days

The White House will launch a reorganization plan that includes reorganizing the 12 federal trade and export agencies within 90 days.

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

President Obama is calling for recommendations within the next 90 days for an overhaul of federal trade and export agencies.

The President issued a memo today calling for “restructuring and streamling.”

“We live and do business in the information age, but the organization of the federal government has not kept pace,” President Obama said in the memo. ” Government agencies have grown without overall strategic planning and duplicative programs have sprung up, making it harder for each to reach its goals.”

In his State of the Union address, the President announced his goal to reorganize government to reduce overlap and redundancy. A March 1 report by the Government Accountability Office found scores of duplicate programs across agencies, identifying overlap in everything from literacy education programs to the transportation of equipment by the military to arms control and nonproliferation efforts.

The White House is in the “early fact finding stages,” and there are no specific proposals under consideration, an administration official said in an email to Federal News Radio.

The efforts will be led by Jeff Zients, deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget, and Lisa Brown, executive director and former co-chair of agency review during the transition, who will “take a hard look at how we can better organize federal programs and functions to boost our nation’s competitiveness,” the official said.

A working group in OMB will survey small and large businesses, agencies and lawmakers to gather views on how various departments and agencies can work together more efficiently, Zients said in The Wall Street Journal reports.

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney disputed a report that the administration would merge the Office of U.S. Trade Representative into the Commerce Department, The Washington Post reports.

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