With an Executive Order issued on March 13, President Donald J. Trump has unveiled a “comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive branch” and what could be a sweeping overhaul of government agencies.

Agencies that fall under the umbrella of the executive branch, and thereby affected by the Executive Order, include: Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of the Interior; Department of Justice; Department of Labor; Department of State; Department of Transportation; Department of the Treasury; and the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Executive Order directs the director of the Office of Management and Budget to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs.

Within 180 days of the date of the order, the head of each agency “shall submit to the director a proposed plan to reorganize the agency, if appropriate, in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of that agency.”

A notice in the Federal Register will invite the public to suggest improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch and comment on submitted suggestions and plans.

Within 180 days after the closing date for public comments, OMB will submit a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies. 

The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, “recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions.”  The proposed plan will also include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization.

In developing the proposed plan, the following factors will be considered:

whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are appropriate for the Federal Government or would be better left to state or local governments or to the private sector through free enterprise;

whether some or all of the functions of an agency are redundant;

whether certain administrative capabilities necessary for operating an agency are redundant with those of another agency, component, or program;

whether the costs of continuing to operate an agency are justified by the public benefits it provides; and

the costs of shutting down or merging agencies, components, or programs, including the costs of addressing the equities of affected agency staff.

“We're beginning the process of a long-overdue reorganization of our federal departments and agencies,” Trump said, announcing the initiative. “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere.  Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted on activities that are not delivering results for hardworking American taxpayers, and not even coming close.”

“This order requires a thorough examination of every executive department and agency to see where money is being wasted, how services can be improved, and whether programs are truly serving American citizens,” he added.