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Obama outlines government reform plan

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In an article published today in Federal Times, Gregg Carlstrom writes:

President-elect Barack Obama has already laid out a comprehensive set of government reform plans, including major changes to the Bush administration’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), sweeping ethics reform and a new approach toward financial regulation.

Obama laid out his plans in an 11-page memo released last month. It calls for a new chief performance officer in the White House, who will oversee a strengthened PART. Under the new program, the president would have the authority to use poor PART assessments to replace agency heads, demand improvement plans, and reduce or eliminate program budgets.
[…]
The reform plan also lays out changes to government ethics policies. It would bar lobbyists from giving any gifts to executive branch employees, and it would give the Office of Government Ethics the power to issue binding regulations. OGE is currently an advisory agency.

Obama also hopes to increase transparency, through steps like creating a searchable database of lobbyist contacts and posting complete government contracts on the Internet. His team hopes those efforts will eliminate ethical lapses like those at the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, where employees accepted gifts and meals from oil companies they regulated.
The plan also addresses another set of regulatory agencies making headlines: financial regulators.

“The large, complex institutions that dominate the financial landscape today no longer fit into discrete categories,” it says. “We need a streamlined system of oversight, one that reflects 21st century markets.”

Obama’s plan calls for consolidating some of the agencies, and requiring more detailed disclosures from financial institutions.

It looks like Obama is already fulfilling one of his campaign promises: to make government more transparent, more efficient, and more effective.

I, for one, am looking forward to a complete shakeup in the Federal government to one that is more accountable to the American people.

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Written by Valerie Curl

November 7, 2008 at 1:39 AM

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