The Hill | by Ian Swanson | Jan. 14, 2010
A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office.
This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama.
The public is getting a bad return on its tax dollars because government workers are operating with outdated technologies, Orszag said in a statement that kicked off a summit between Obama and dozens of corporate CEOs.
“Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home,” said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Now that’s no longer the case.
“The American people deserve better service from their government, and better return for their tax dollars.”
The White House release that included Orszag’s comments said one “specific source” of ineffective and inefficient government is the huge technology gap between the public and private sectors that results in billions of dollars in waste, slow and inadequate customer service and a lack of transparency about how dollars are spent.
Obama is meeting with CEOs to solicit their views on how to improve the federal government with new information technology.
“Improving the technology our government uses isn’t about having the fanciest bells and whistles on our websites — it’s about how we use the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to make government work better for them,” Obama said in a statement.
Obama had proposed the meeting in April. CEOs from Craigslist, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe Technology and Monster.com are among those taking part.
“It’s time to bring government into the 21st century,” Orszag said. “Information technology has the power to transform how government works and revolutionize the ease, convenience and effectiveness by which it serves the American people.”
Those attending the summit are to break into smaller groups to discuss streamlining government operations, improving customer service and maximizing return on IT investments.
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