Order sets in motion reorganization of executive branch

Federal agencies, including independents such as the federal financial institution regulators, must provide by this fall a reorganization plan to the Office of Management and Budget, which will form the basis of an overall Trump administration effort to reorganize the federal government next year, under an executive order published Monday.

“This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs,” the order states.

Each agency head is required to submit to the OMB director a proposed plan to reorganize the agency that he or she oversees – “if appropriate” – within 180 days of publication of the date of the order (probably sometime over the next week or so, which would place the deadline in mid- to late September).

Once those plans have been submitted, the OMB director is required within 180 days to develop and submit to the president a plan for executive branch reorganization. “The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions,” the order states. “The proposed plan shall include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization,” it adds.

Under the order’s deadline, that plan would be presented no more than about one year from now.

In particular, the order calls for OMB to consider a number of areas in developing its plan, including redundancies across the federal government and whether the costs of continuing to operate an agency or its programs are justified by the public benefits provided.

Additionally, the order directs OMB to consider if functions of federal agencies would be better left to state or local governments, “or to the private sector through free enterprise.”

Public comments on executive branch reorganization are also sought, seeking suggestions for improvements in the organization and function of the executive branch.

Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch