Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Decimating Cabinet Agencies: A Generic Template

Decimating cabinet agencies is a multistage process.  There is massive duplication and overlapping both within and across cabinet agencies.  In order to decimate redundant activities, it is first necessary to identify all agencies that duplicate or overlap with others.  This is no easy task.

Take, for example, offices of diversity (and female inclusion).  By itself, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill established 28 separate diversity offices.  There are doubtless hundreds of such offices scattered throughout cabinet agencies.  This is absurd quite apart from the merits of diversity offices.  (Thoughtful Ideas could not find a source stating the total number of diversity offices in the federal government.)

There is only one Internal Revenue Service.  Each year, a higher percentage of tax returns is filed on-line.  The IRS provides an organizational model to deal with the multitude of diversity offices.

One centralized web site would suffice to replace hundreds of individual diversity offices embedded in the federal bureaucracy.  Uniform diversity reporting requirements for public offices, private firms, and non-profit organizations would be submitted on-line.  Those deficient in compliance would be flagged by a specifically written algorithm, similar to that used by the IRS to select tax returns for audit. (Compliance would not be subject to human whim.)   Penalties defined in law would be assessed.  Challenges would be dealt with by trained officers in the centralized office.  Inspectors could be sent into the field when necessary.  This approach would eliminate over 90% of the cost and personnel currently enforcing diversity requirements.

We know from Congressional statements that there are dozens of separate worker training programs, poverty programs, and educational programs.  Subsequent posts in this series of “Decimating Cabinet Agencies” will review the list of agencies and sub-agencies within and across cabinet departments to illustrate the process of shrinking the federal bureaucracy.

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