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Exposing Government

Avatar of Dylan Coleman
Dylan Coleman

In his first term of office President Obama pledged to shed light upon the shadow of our veiled government. To bring transparency to the executive branch.

He issued policies that added greater exposure of government documents though new mediums. Although initially successful, Obama’s Open Government is still far from complete and requires more attention from government agencies in order to become less opaque.

To find out how to do this, Chris Dorobek of the DorobekINSIDER program recently interviewed President and CEO of the Center for Effective Government, Katherine McFate.

Formally known as OMB Watch, the Center for Effective Government sets out to fulfill the president’s vision for a more transparent government.

Katherine McFate told Chris why the Center of Effective Government changed its name.

Why the Name Change?

“The staff would have to go out and explain the name before they could explain the work that we were doing, and we felt that changing it is a way of making us more accessible to people”

What Are the Goals of the Organization?

“We want to have a federal tax and spending system that actually raises the money and puts it toward the things that we know we need to invest in…and to make the whole spending process more transparent to everyday citizens.”

“The second thing that we want to do is to improve our systems of standards and safeguards…to keep them strong and clean up the regulatory system so that it actually does support the interest of the public.”

Differences from Other Organizations?

“We do share similar goals but we have slightly different things that we focus on…We have a broader view and we are looking at the process of government spending, over from the budget all the way down through the operations of a particular federal agencies; and particularly the decisions that are made in the bureaucracy that’s controlled by the white house.”

How Far Have We Come Over the Past 4 Years?

“We saw some progress early on but it’s not easy and there are other priorities people have…so making things more transparent is usually not the first goal that any agency has so it does require constant pushing to see the progress that we’d like to see…it has slowed down since those early days.”

Reasons for Slow Down?

“We have to find some way of getting early and initial investments so then we could see some long term savings, which has been the real challenge in this environment in which everyone is concerned about deficit reduction.”

Solutions?

“Trying to figure out if there are other independent funding mechanisms that one could use…so that you can generate an independent source of funding and it doesn’t have to be budget neutral. It all depends on leadership…there are others who can get creative and some people who said lets embrace this new technology and see if there are ways that we can do cost saving so that we can actually put our man power into the areas where they can have the most impact in terms of performing their mission.”

CLICK HERE to visit the Center for Effective Government’s website.

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