President Obama's order on Wednesday to curb government waste is the latest echo in a year of announcements calling for government agencies to watch their spending. In September, Vice President Joe Biden called on Cabinet secretaries to hold agencies accountable through a series of auditing programs. Biden’s announcement was the result of his work on the “Campaign to Cut Waste,” the creation of which earned its own executive order by Obama in June. The latest order attempts to extend the waste campaign into a few specific areas.
“I’m announcing an executive order that will build on our efforts to cut waste and promote more efficient spending across the government—we’re cutting what we don’t need so that we can invest in what we do need,” Obama said in a statement before signing Wednesday’s order.
Agencies will be required to submit plans in the next 45 days that will reduce in five areas (most of which, by the way, are taken straight from California Gov. Jerry Brown’s playbook): excessive travel and conferences, unused technology, unnecessary printing, superfluous motor fleets, and frivolous promotional handouts.
If all goes according to plan, the White House estimates the order will cut waste in federal agencies by 20 percent.
Shane Goldmacher contributed