Trump Orders Plan for Slimming Government

March 13, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on March 13 tasking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with finding ways to slenderize the federal government.

The order asks OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to develop a plan “to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch.”

“The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions,” the order says.

The plan should primarily address five questions:

1) Whether functions of agencies or programs “are appropriate for the federal government or would be better left to state or local governments or to the private sector through free enterprise.”

2) Whether functions of agencies or programs are made redundant by functions of other agencies or programs.

3) Whether some “administrative capabilities” of agencies or programs are redundant due to those of other agencies or programs.

4) Whether the costs of operating an agency or a program is justified by the public benefits it provides.

5) What the costs of shutting down or merging agencies or programs would be.

Heads of agencies have 180 days to create their individual plans and submit them to the director of the OMB. The OMB will open the plans to public comments for an unknown period of time, after which it will have another 180 days to finalize the plan before it must submitted to Trump.

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