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Federal Reorganization Taking Shape?

Photo: Matt H. Wade

President Barack Obama’s pledge to significantly reorganize federal agencies is already taking shape.

“My administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America,” Obama said, in a noted passage of his State of the Union address earlier this week. “I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it passed.”

As evidence of an overly complicated network of government agencies with often redundant tasks, Obama cited the  complicated web of government agencies with duplicative tasks. Case in point: regulations surrounding surrounding salmon.

“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they’re in saltwater,” he explained. “And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.”

According to a report on Federal Computer Week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the administration hadn’t yet decided what official would lead the reorganization efforts.

“But I think given the fiscal times that we’re in, this makes a lot of sense right now – not just to meet the challenges but in understanding that we all agree that we are going to have to cut the amount of money government spends,” he said, according to FCW.

John Kamensky, a senior fellow with the IBM Center for the Business of Government has some advice for the administration: Don’t go it alone.

“Congress needs to play an active role and reorganize itself, if any executive branch reorganization is to be successful,” he wrote in a blog post.

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