If you have been following the story on Agency and Program realignment then you have seen the example of the pizza and the number of different agencies involved with overseeing the making of that pizza depending upon the toppings. For heavens sakes only make a cheese pizza, make a pepperoni pizza (adding meat to the equation) and you might find Army jeeps in your parking lot! I am just being facetious however the Trump administration is looking to realign agencies so that redundancies can be eliminated. “With change comes opportunity!
I personally believe that major moves like these will force the acquiring department to resort to large-scale us of GWACs (Government-wide Acquisition Contracts) because the acquiring agency will not have time to put the contracting vehicles in place for the acquired missions. Generally putting new acquisition vehicles in place takes on average 270 days, but that is in the course of normal government business. This is likely to alter the ways in which agencies buy in the near-term as they work to integrate these new missions.
Rational: Department of Labor and the Department of Education have the common goal of preparing Americans for success in a globally competitive world. Combining the two will allow a more encompassing strategy of taking a child and developing them into productive members of society.
Example: The Federal Government currently operates more than 40 workforce development programs spread across 15 agencies.
2. Move the non-commodity nutrition assistance program currently in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service into the Department of Health and Human Services – which will be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare.
Rational: When a person/family needs to sign up for assistance they go to a single state agency. That agency assists this person/family in signing up for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), nutrition assistance through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This creates a duplication of effort in administering these programs as they are with different agencies.
3. Move the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Civil Works out of the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of the Interior (DOI).
Rational: Today the Army Corps of Engineers has both military and civil functions. The Civil Works program has three primary missions: commercial navigation, flood and storm damage reduction and aquatic ecosystem restoration. Moving these functions to the Civil agencies will give them the ability to create more comprehensive plans.
Army Corps Navigation – DOT
Army Corps Flood Damage and Ecosystem Restoration - DOI
4. Reorganize the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the food safety function of HHS’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into a single agency within USDA that would cover virtually all the foods Americans eat.
Rational: GAO has listed food safety as a high risk area for the federal government since 2007. FSIS and FDA are the two primary agencies with major responsibility. FSIS is responsible for the safety of meat products and the FDA all other foods. Many food products contain both meat and other foods and there are other redundancies with this current separation.
Example: FDA has responsibility for the safety of eggs while they are inside their shell. Once they leave their shells they fall under the responsibility of FSIS. One agency overseeing both reduces redundant efforts at the same food facilities.
5. Move USDA’s rural housing loan guarantee and rental assistance programs to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Both USDA and HUD operate similar programs to assist home owners and low-income renters and support rental housing development. Each agency operates its own mortgage insurance program for home purchase and refinance.
Example: Prior to the internet and computers the USDA through its focus on agriculture had the greatest presence in rural America. Therefore in the 1940s when these mortgage programs were developed with the USDA as the administrator. Today with the internet this close proximity no longer provides value.
6. Merge the Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) National Marine Fisheries Service with DOI’s Fish and Wildlife Service.
The National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) are currently part of the Department of Commerce under NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services is operated by the Department of the Interior. This creates redundancy as well as creates confusion in the act of obtaining permits.
7. Consolidate portions of DOI’s Central Hazardous Materials Program and USDA’s Hazardous Materials Management program into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund program.
EPA oversees environmental cleanup on private lands, where the Department of the Interior and USDA oversee cleanup on Federal Lands. The DOI and USDA inherited some 80,000 mine sites in the 1970s that they oversee. The DOI and USDA follow EPA guidelines, however, having the EPA oversee the cleanup at Federal Lands as well consolidates the cleanup efforts under one roof.
8. Optimize Department of State (State) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) humanitarian assistance to eliminate duplication of efforts and fragmented decision making.
The United States gives out approximately $9 Billion dollars in federal aid to people around the world annually. Increasingly those funds are provided to refugees of war-torn areas. U.S. AID will have greater integration with the State Department so that efforts undertaken have maximum impact and leverage when needed can be applied to protect those in which the US government is providing aid.
9. Consolidate the U.S. Government’s development finance tools, such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of USAID, into a new Development Finance Institution.
10. Transform USAID through an extensive, agency-driven structural reorganization of headquarters Bureaus and Independent Offices.
11. Move the policy function of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) into the Executive Office of the President, and elevate its core strategic mission while devolving certain operational activities.
12. Transfer responsibility for perpetual care and operation of select military and veteran cemeteries located on DOD installations to the Department of Veteran Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
13. Reorganize the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the Commerce.
14. Consolidate the Department of Energy’s (DOE) applies energy programs into a new Office of Energy Innovation.