Obama To Close 50% Of Federal Websites - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
02:04 PM

Obama To Close 50% Of Federal Websites

Say goodbye to the website of Fiddlin' Forresters, an old-time string band made up of U.S. Forest Service employees. It's on a hit list as the White House targets wasteful spending.

Slideshow: 12 Worst Government WebSites
Slideshow: 12 Worst Government Websites
(click for larger image and for full slideshow)
President Obama on Monday revealed a new campaign to eliminate wasteful spending across the federal government that includes improved transparency and accountability, shutting down hundreds of websites, and freezing the development of new ones.

Spelled out in an executive order, the Campaign to Cut Waste includes the creation of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board (GATB) that will do for spending across the federal government what the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board did for spending of recovery funds.

That board oversees the Recovery.gov website, created in February 2009, which allows people to track how the federal government is investing the $787 billion stimulus measure. It was one of the first broad transparency and accountability moves by the Obama administration.

The GATB in six months must submit a report to the president identifying how it will integrate systems that support the collection and display of government spending data. The report also should include information about how to ensure the data is reliable as well as how it will broaden the deployment of fraud-detection technologies, according to the order. Other administration transparency efforts in the past have been criticized for inaccurate data.

The campaign also calls for a freeze on the creation of new websites and the elimination or consolidation of 25% of the federal government's existing 2,000 sites over the next few months, according to the executive order. Over the next year, the feds should cut the number of standalone websites in half.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden revealed the new campaign in separate video appearances posted on the White House.gov website, which were reinforced by a live announcement by Biden Monday.

Assuming an almost jocular tone as he laid out some of the wasteful spending that still needs to be cut, Obama outlined some of the unnecessary website spending the government is currently engaged in, such as the home page for a group called the Fiddlin' Forresters, an old-time string band made up of U.S. Forest Service employees.

"I'll put their music on my iPod, but I'm not paying for their website," Obama said.

In his talk, Biden stressed the importance of extending the accountability and transparency of a site like Recovery.gov across federal agencies to help keep track of where federal money is going and engaging taxpayers in that effort to reduce waste and fraud.

"The online tracking of dollars … can and should be applied government wide," he said. "We're insisting that every federal agency is focused on transparency and accountability."

What industry can teach government about IT innovation and efficiency. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: Federal agencies have to shift from annual IT security assessments to continuous monitoring of their risks. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll