This Monday, April 27, President Barack Obama will open the online doors of his administration to engage the public about Recovery.gov. Touted as an “online dialogue,” the Obama administration wants to know “what ideas, tools, and approaches can make Recovery.gov a place where the public can monitor the expenditure and the use of recovery funds?” In a press release sent out last week, President Obama indicated that they were going to work in conjunction with the National Academy of Public Administration, a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of top public management and organizational leaders.
The week-long process asks participants from across the nation to recommend, discuss and vote on the best practices, tools and approaches to making Recovery.gov better. “Your ideas can directly impact how Recovery.gov operates and ensure that our economic recovery is the most transparent and accountable in history,” the release said. A high-tech round table will also be convened, at the behest of House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns.
Experts, vendors, government employees and everyday people are encouraged to join in the session, which will allow participants to refine ideas that are suggested and voted on the one’s they like best.
This announcement was followed by the President’s weekly online and radio address where, on Saturday, he called for an “all-hands-on-deck approach” from the government rank and file workers, Government Executive reports. “We cannot meet the challenges of today with old habits and stale thinking,” Obama said. “So much of our government was built to deal with different challenges from a different era. Too often, the result is wasteful spending, bloated programs, and inefficient results.”
Information gathered during this seven-day session is expected to be worked into a revised set of Office of Management and Budget guidelines, set for release in early May. This will mark the third round of updated OMB guidance and early indications are that it will address several key issues raised thus far, including more details on data reporting, state administrative costs, and a standard for recipients to calculate job retention and/or creation.
Also being discussed this week is defense procurement reform. House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and ranking member John McHugh (R-N.Y.) are set to introduce a bill Monday that will overhaul how the Pentagon buys weapons and keeps cots on major programs down. The House bill is expected to move quickly in order to join a similar Senate bill, which also means to track weapons programs during their early development stages to prevent the types of cost increases that have become endemic other most multi-billion-dollar weapons systems.
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