Mar 21 2012
Hearing Statement: "Retooling Government for the 21st Century: The President's Reorganization Plan and Reducing Duplication"
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
WASHINGTON - Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, joined the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, "Retooling Government for the 21st Century: The President's Reorganization Plan and Reducing Duplication."
For more information on the hearing or to watch a webcast of the hearing, please click here.
His statement follows:
"With concerns growing over the mounting federal deficit and national debt, the American people deserve a more efficient and effective government. The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) most recent 'duplication report' provides us with an assessment of the areas to focus on to further reduce redundancy within the federal government. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, I've heard countless times about the ways in which federal programs are not performing as well and as effectively as they could, and consequently wasting scarce taxpayers' dollars. Whether it is badly managed information technology projects, property and buildings that aren't efficient or necessary, programs like Medicare and Medicaid that are not doing a good enough job rooting out fraud and waste, or programs that are inconsistent with or duplicate work done elsewhere, we need to do better.
"That's why I welcome today's hearing as another potential step in our efforts to reduce duplication and consolidate several agencies that focus on trade and commerce. When the President was first considering the initiatives included in the Reforming and Consolidating Government Act of 2012, I told then-Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget Jeff Zients that the Administration should 'go big' – and that's what they appear to have done. President Obama promised a fundamental reorganization of the federal government and this consolidation is expected to save $3 billion dollars over the next 10 years. I believe the President's proposal would bring together several resources to create a one-stop shop that will promote American businesses and ensure that government is providing a nurturing environment for economic grow and job creation.
"The hard truth is that the funding levels for programs across government will likely need to be reduced in the coming months and years. Even some of the popular and necessary programs out there will likely be asked to do more with less. That is the case with some that we'll be talking about today, as well. For example, the two statistical agencies in the Commerce Department – the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Affairs - are part of a decentralized system consisting of more than 11 separate agencies located in 9 different executive government departments and some 70 other agencies of the government that produce statistical output as a part of their programmatic responsibilities. Our statistical system is one that seems disjointed, with multiple data bases and little integration. The President's proposal is a move towards a more centralized system that recognizes the benefits and tremendous cost savings that can come with strong and effective coordination.
"While there is more work to be done to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the federal government, we must not overlook the important steps taken over the past year by the Obama Administration to address many of these problems. In addition, the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, which the President signed into law last year, requires agencies to set government-wide goals to align programs from different agencies to work together to reduce overlap and duplication. The Administration continues to be a good partner with me and other members of Congress who are zealous in our pursuit of reforms that will help the government do more with less taxpayer money. However, it is important to remember that the Administration cannot do this alone – we in Congress must do more work on our part to achieve success."