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Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing Executive Branch Unveiled

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

President Trump issued March 13 an executive order intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Office of Management and Budget to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agency, and agency programs.

According to the EO, agency heads have until around mid-September to submit to OMB a proposed plan to reorganize their agency, if appropriate, in order to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. OMB will also publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking public input regarding improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch.

A proposed plan will have to be submitted to the president by around this time next year. Such a plan must include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions, as well as recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization.

In developing the plan OMB will have to consider the following factors, in addition to any other relevant factors:

- whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are appropriate for the federal government or would be better left to state or local governments, or to the private sector through free enterprise;

- whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are redundant, including with those of another agency, component, or program;

- whether certain administrative capabilities necessary for operating an agency, a component, or a program are redundant with those of another agency, component, or program; 

- whether the costs of continuing to operate an agency, a component, or a program are justified by the public benefits it provides; and

- the costs of shutting down or merging agencies, components, or programs, including the costs of addressing the equities of affected agency staff.

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