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Memorandum on the Accountable Government Initiative

September 14, 2010

Memorandum for the Senior Executive Service

Subject: Accountable Government Initiative

When I first campaigned for President, I said I wanted to change the way Washington works so that it works for the American people. That is why my Administration has undertaken the Accountable Government Initiative--to cut waste and make Government more open and responsive to the American public.

This is not just about lines on a spreadsheet or numbers in a budget. When Government does not work like it should, it has a real effect on people's lives--on small business owners who need loans, on young people who want to go to college, on the men and women in our Armed Forces who need the best resources when in uniform and deserve the benefits they have earned after they have left.

As the most senior managers in the Federal Government, you know how essential the work you and your colleagues do is to the Nation. You also are aware what happens when your best efforts are thwarted by outdated technologies and outmoded ways of doing business. You understand the consequences of accepting billions of dollars in waste as the cost of doing business and of allowing obsolete or under-performing programs to continue year after year.

Working together, we can change that, and the attached memo gives you an update on those efforts.

I have tasked our Chief Performance Officer, Jeff Zients, with leading the Accountable Government Initiative, and I have asked him to give me regular updates about our progress in making Government more efficient and effective. I know the Office of Management and Budget will be looking to you for feedback on how our efforts are faring, and what more we can do to cut waste and modernize Government.

Thank you for your work on this initiative and for your service to our country.


Barack Obama, Memorandum on the Accountable Government Initiative Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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