Closing the IT Gap

When many of my colleagues went from the cutting-edge, social media-focused Obama presidential campaign into the federal government, they remarked that it was like going from an X-box to an Atari.

Indeed, a significant IT gap has developed over the past decade and a half between the public and private sectors – and that is a big part of the productivity divide between the two. Closing this IT gap is key to boost efficiency and make government more open and responsive to the wants and needs of the public.

This morning, I spoke at length about this topic at the Center for American Progress. One point I also made is that improving the efficiency of government operations will help agencies meet the President’s three-year, non-security discretionary freeze, a move which is projected to save $250 billion over the next decade. This morning we sent Budget guidance to agencies which underscores the seriousness with which the President is committed to this freeze, as well as a memo from myself and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel that directs agencies to include a list of their bottom 5 percent performing programs with their Budget submissions. This too will help us craft a Budget that meets the freeze and cuts waste throughout the government.

The bottom line is that we have an obligation to get as much as possible from taxpayer dollars. In the months ahead, we will be rolling out more initiatives that bring us closer to this goal.

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