President Obama on Monday highlighted the continuing role of technology in his second-term management reform agenda, using a televised speech to White House staff to also defend the federal workforce and nudge Congress to grant him long-sought authority to consolidate agencies to curb duplication.
“We are dealing with a government that’s not always high-tech or user-friendly,” Obama said in the State Dining Room after meeting with his Cabinet on management efficiencies. “But we have made a huge swath of your government more efficient and accountable than ever before.”
Promising to take advantage of private-sector expertise in new Cabinet members and hires from the technology sector, Obama announced that Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is heading the administration’s push for “smarter government,” and he introduced several of the 43 Presidential Innovation Fellows who are bringing high-tech ideas into agencies.
Harking back to his 2008 campaign’s approach of using technology to engage more people, Obama cited Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel for their teams’ work “to innovate in jobs, health care and keeping our nation secure.”
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