Obama Announces New Government Efficiency Post
President-elect Barack Obama today announced the creation of a new position to work in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget to increase the “efficiency, transparency and accountability” of federal agencies.
During a news conference at the Obama-Biden transition office in Washington, Obama named Nancy Killefer, a former Treasury official in the Clinton administration, to fill the new post of chief performance officer.
From Obama’s prepared remarks:
For nearly thirty years – as a leader at McKinsey & Company, and as Assistant Secretary for Management, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer at Treasury under President Clinton — Nancy has built a career out of making major American corporations and public institutions more efficient, effective and transparent.
Nancy is an expert in streamlining processes and wringing out inefficiencies so that taxpayers and consumers get more for their money. And during her time at Treasury, she helped bring the Department into the twenty-first century, modernizing the IRS and preparing systems for Y2K.
But Nancy also understands that at the end of the day, government services are delivered by people. That’s why she’s always worked tirelessly to empower employees to take matters into their own hands: to rethink outmoded ways of doing things, to embrace new systems and technologies, and to take initiative in developing better practices.
When Nancy was offered her first position at Treasury, she responded, “If you’re willing to embrace significant change, then you’re looking at the right person. But if you just want to keep the trains running on time, don’t ask me to do this job.”
When I heard that, I knew I’d chosen exactly the right person for the challenges we face.
The Associated Press points out the first-glance irony inherent in today’s announcement.
But, I guess if the plan is to blow money like its going out of style to get the economy moving again, bringing on a specialist to maximize government efficiency probably isn’t the worst idea in the world.