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4/20/2010
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White House Calls For CEO Advisory Board

The Office Of Management And Budget will oversee the private-sector board, which will give guidance on technology, productivity, and customer service.

President Obama on Tuesday signed an executive order to create a board of private-sector CEO advisors to give the administration guidance about technology, productivity, and customer service.

The Management Advisory Board will act as a complement to the President's Management Council, according to a post by Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, on the agency's blog. The President's Management Council is comprised of the deputy secretaries from the major executive departments and agencies.

The new advisory board's input on the government's use of technology will be key to its mission, Orszag said. In fact, it is the private sector's clear advantage in its use of technology that was one of the main reasons for the board's formation.

"During the past two decades, the private sector has leapfrogged ahead of the federal government when it comes to innovative operation and management, especially as it relates to the use of information technology," Orszag said in the post. "It used to be that a federal worker had more computing power and prowess at their desk than at home; now, they often have more power in their Blackberry or iPhone than at their desk."

Indeed, the Obama administration indeed has been proactive from day one in working with the private sector particularly on technology, as it's mainly private companies that own the critical infrastructure on which the Internet and government networks run.

The Department of Homeland Security in particular has been working to share intelligence with the private sector to counter cybersecurity threats. A cybersecurity bill being considered by the Senate also deals with how the federal government and private sector can better coordinate efforts to protect the country's critical infrastructure.

The administration's interest in the private sector goes beyond technology, however. In January, the White House hosted more than 50 CEOs from major U.S. corporations at its Forum on Modernizing Government.

While technology was a key topic at the forum, the conference also discussed ways the Federal government could emulate the private sector in how it provides customer service to the American people and how it can be more efficient and productive internally.

The administration expects the Management Advisory Board to build on topics discussed at the forum, Orszag said in the post.

The OMB's Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients will chair the board, the members of which will be appointed by President Obama and chosen the basis of their "record of sound judgment in leading large, complex, or innovative private-sector organizations," he said.

The administration will select and announce the first appointees in the next few months, Orszag

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