Budget Director Mulvaney Releases Phase 1 Of Plan To Slash Government Waste

The White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced earlier today 'Phase 1' of the Trump administration’s plans for a massive government reorganization, a move meant to increase the efficiency and productivity of the federal government.

In a memo published here, Mulvaney detailed plans to rescind or modify many of the requirements placed on federal agencies by the OMB. The office’s logic is rather straightforward: far too often agencies are required to spend more time and energy complying with menial tasks, rather than spending time allocating taxpayer dollars to effectively and efficiently carry out their missions.

From administration to administration, agencies have been asked to respond to hundreds of guidance documents related to management areas such as information technology (IT), human capital, acquisition, financial management, and real property. Too often, burdensome tasks have piled up without consideration of whether the requirements collectively make sense. In many cases, agencies are asked to spend more time and resources complying with low-value activities versus allocating taxpayer dollars to meet their core agency mission.


In support of the President's Management Agenda and the belief that the Federal Government can - and should- operate more effectively and efficiently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is taking action to identify low-value, duplicative, and obsolete activities that can be ended. Through this Memorandum, OMB begins providing relief to agencies by rolling back these requirements and allowing those who know their agencies best - agency managers - manage operations, adopt best practices, and find the best way possible to reduce costs and minimize staff hours responding to duplicative and burdensome reporting requirements.



As the Daily Caller reports, a very simple review of just OMB directives revealed "59 redundant, obsolete or unnecessary" guidelines that agencies are required to comply with on an annual basis.

“There are a lot of places where the government is so complicated that previous administrations didn’t realize what the agencies were already doing,” Mulvaney said. “So an agency might be required to give a piece of information to Congress. The administration might not know that so they layer on another requirement on that agency to give the that same information to the administration. That is wasteful and it takes a lot of time.


OMB isn’t just asking other agencies to figure out where they can make cuts. The office has already found 59 redundant, obsolete or unnecessary memorandum that will be removed from all federal agencies. For example, agencies have been required since 2011 to develop a 10-15-page proposal to justify new contracts over $50 million that duplicated existing ones. Now, under new OMB direction, agencies are using a collaborative process that requires a simple 3-page proposal.

Of course, Mulvaney's review was prompted by a Trump executive order signed back in March aimed at cutting waste in the federal government.  Trump signed the measure in the Oval Office on March 13th and told reporters at the time that it called for a “thorough examination of every executive department and agency” to find out “where money is being wasted [and] how services can be improved.”

Mulvaney's overall review process is planned to be carried out in three phases which are expected to be completed sometime around February 2018.

Thursday’s announcement is the first part of a three-phase process of the OMB’s effort to reorganize the government.


The first phase will conclude on June 30, when agencies will report back to the OMB regarding how they want to reorganize. Effectively, what requirements (reports, procedures, etc.) they decided are an inefficient use of their time and money.


The second phase will come on September 30. Agencies will be required then to turn in their budget proposal and their final recommendations for reorganization.


The final phase comes in February 2018, with the final government-wide reorganization plan is slated for release.

Imagine that, someone actually considering effectiveness and efficiency metrics in drafting government regulations?


Mulvaney's full memo can be viewed here:


Stuck on Zero NidStyles Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:29 Permalink

California schools obtain their funding from more than a hundred different granting agencies. Every school district maintains a huge staff to deal with the requirements of each agency. At this point about 70% of the education budget goes to administration. So saying I'd guess that it's probably an economic truth that 70% of the budget of all government agencies ends up in administrative costs.

In reply to by NidStyles

lester1 Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:56 Permalink

Cut out all those government defense contractors. They are seriously draining US taxpayers!Why the fuck is there a private security company guarding and  patrolling US bases like Fort Bragg ??

NidStyles lester1 Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:33 Permalink

"Private security"

When it comes to places like Bragg, not all is what it appears. Those "private security" guys are likely some unit with a cover story.

Never take what the military tells you at face value. It's always subterfuge and misdirection to hide the actual intent and interest.

I'm not disagreeing with you, especially when it appears the majority of stuff like DARPA appears to be more of a money laundering operation for Israel than anything else. I'm just saying you can't trust what they tell you something is, as places like that are filled with black projects that not even the majority of our own government knows about.

If you're talking about the DOD guys at the gate, that is because people in the Army have a buddy system, which allows POS soldiers to do POS things. It's cheaper and more effective to hire assholes under the DOD with authority over everyone so Pvt Snuffy doesn't have to get chewed out by a drunk butter bar...

In reply to by lester1

343 Guilty Spark Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:01 Permalink

"One major source of wasteful spending is the policy that an office or agency is required to spend all of their allotted money or their budget will be reduced. This has created a situation where offices and agencies will spend every lat time on unnecessary items and trips to make sure they will get their full budget the following year.My proposal is that any money that is not used in the fiscal year will be returned to the Treasury and the office or agency's budget will not be modified (unless they request to lower it, which would require no action, or request to increase it, which would trigger an audit to determine if wasteful spending occurred).In addition, any office or agency that utilizes all or nearly all of their budgeted? money's will trigger an audit to make sure frivilous and wasteful spending is minimized.If such wasteful spending is found, disciplinary action and/or possible termination will be executed."I sent that to the white house wesite months ago. No word on it but I hope Trump or one of his peeps sees it. I also estimate a reduction of operating costs on the entire executive branch to be 10-15% (from what I have seen/experienced to be what is remaining in the final month or so of the fiscal year).

GunnerySgtHartman 343 Guilty Spark Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:11 Permalink

Sadly, it will probably take an act of Congress to really accomplish this goal.  The so-called Budget Control Act of 1974 all but eliminated the president's ability to refuse to spend money ... the act was passed by Congress as a rebuke to Nixon's desire to rein in budget deficits.  Nixon vetoed it, and Congress overrode the veto.http://vm136.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ROHO/projects/debt/budgetcontrolact.html

In reply to by 343 Guilty Spark

NidStyles GunnerySgtHartman Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:30 Permalink

Money not spent should be surplused for the following year. The surplus rate should be at 5% or so. You can't go over it. If you're at the limit two years or so in a row, you should get audited to see if it's a structural issue or and actually increase in need. This audit should be done by a third party department that is competing for funds.

I'm also on board with firing people as well. As it is no government employees can really be fired. That's unrealistic.

In reply to by GunnerySgtHartman

cheech_wizard Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:02 Permalink

Damn, there goes my job at the Department of Redundancy Department... I think I'll see if they have any openings on the Curtailment of Personal Liberties Committee.

shaggythelma Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:38 Permalink

Cut the budget with a machete.  Cut total wages to 70% of the comparable job in the general public.  Get rid of pensions, go defined contribution.  We don't want government to be full of overeducated bumblef*cks .  

ElTerco Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:58 Permalink

Somehow, I doubt what Mulvaney is proposing is actually going to help.

When there are ten levels of management for a given Government organization when only six or less are actually needed, at least one of the ten managers is going to introduce counter-productive policy (probably oversight related), just to justify "work" needed at their level of management.

In reality, the only way to fix government bureaucracy is to (1) eliminate dead-wood levels of management, and also to (2) have a direct management chain (aka a tree-structure) rather than a web of managers controlling subordinate levels.

Where I worked, I sometimes had three different management chains that had control over my single work product. It was ridiculous, wasteful, and sometimes counter-productive. I say "sometimes counterproductive" because usually, there was just no added value from having multiple managers.

Ben A Drill Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:14 Permalink

I'm going to get ripped for saying this:

1. All taxes paid up front for any resale license.
2. Must work for EBT handouts.
3. End public pensions. 401K like the rest of us.
4. Military healthcare is only for active duty personnel not dependents. 20 year veterans retired still get full healthcare benefits. Same as returning veterans from any conflict.
5. End public pensions altogether. This really is the crux of most states problems.
6. End the FED.
7. Make gun laws the same for every state. Meaning absolutely no gun restrictions.
8. End the industrial war complex.
9. End the ACA.
10. Illegals have to go home.
11. Term limits.
12. War on drugs is a failure. End that too!

Faeriedust Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:23 Permalink

To effectively reduce the accretion of bureaucracy requires congressional action.  For instance, I work in a state bureacracy of which 90% of the workers and programs are required by the Federal government.  If the feds didn't dictate  how much, to whom, and exactly  under what terms social services MUST be rendered, Virginia probably wouldn't bother with a tenth of it.  But the President can't cut that on his own.  Congress has to repeal the statutes.OTOH, there are a lot of Clinton Executive Orders which go into that mishmash and set real (really expensive!) policies, too.  Just properly weeding out things like the requirement that the State provide translators for every illegal who wants to apply for welfare could seriously help.

AKKadian Thu, 06/15/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

Layoff 80% you will stream line the process. The paper shufflers don't won't to do the hard tasks. They like those meaningless tasks. Trump get rid of those No Bid Contracts. Don't forget the States are as FU as the Fed.!!! 

pparalegal Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:04 Permalink

Years ago I worked in the federal courthouse in Los Angeles and know it won't work. Entrenched career bureaucrats will never right their own ship. It is all founded on baseline budgeting, which is the incentive to waste then ask for more. Plus most hired in the last 20 years are barely competent in their jobs and/or are forced dolt minority hires that are truly clueless, but are a protected species. Nothing will change until they start listening to the younger workers actually tasked with doing something. They see what is screwed up but are helpless to fix anything.