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Administration Seeks to Cut Federal Websites by Half

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has announced a campaign to reduce government waste, and the first step in that effort is to consolidate 25 percent of the U.S. government’s 2,000 websites within a few months, with the goal of cutting the number of federal websites by 50 percent within 12 months.

In a video message unveiled June 13, 2011, Obama launched the “Campaign to Cut Waste,” which the president says is to “hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government.” Vice President Joe Biden has a lead role in the campaign by holding Cabinet officials accountable for cutting waste in their agencies.

The administration says it is starting the campaign by cutting the 2,000 federal websites in half because “with so many separate sites, Americans often do not know where to turn for information.” In addition, an immediate “halt to the creation of new websites” has been imposed. The Campaign to Cut Waste is expected to build on a previous waste elimination effort, the “Accountable Government Initiative,” led by White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Jacob Lew and the OMB’s Deputy Director for Management and Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, which has already tackled waste and inefficiency in many areas across government, cutting contracting spending for the first time in 13 years, identifying $3 billion in information technology savings, shutting down duplicative data centers and getting rid of excess federal real estate.

The administration also issued an update on efforts taken to date to reduce government waste and make government work better for the American people. “Targeting waste and making government more efficient have been a priority for my administration since day one. But as we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game,” Obama says in the video. “No amount of waste is acceptable, not when it’s your money; not at a time when so many families are already cutting back.”

-- Government Video