Trump Lays Groundwork for Widespread Government Reorganization

President Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a rethinking of the entire structure of the federal government, a move that could eventually lead to a downsizing of the overall workforce and changes to the basic functions and responsibilities of many agencies.

The order, which will go into effect Thursday, also will lift a blanket federal hiring freeze that has been in place since Trump’s first day in office almost three months ago and replace it with hiring targets in line with the spending priorities the administration laid out in March, said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

The move is a part of Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” and get rid of what the administration views as inefficiencies in the federal government, Mulvaney said. It comes as the White House also is trying to curb the size of many government agencies through a proposed budget that calls for historically deep spending cuts to everything from medical research to clean-energy programs.

The push to reshape the government as well as the budget cuts are almost certain to draw opposition from Congress.

“We think at the end of the day this leads to a government that is dramatically more accountable, dramatically more efficient, and dramatically more effective, following through on the very promises the president made during the campaign and that he put into place on day one,” Mulvaney said.

‘Blank Sheet’

He said the administration is starting with a “blank sheet of paper” as to how the government should operate and has set up a website to solicit ideas.

One solution may be to organize it by function, like putting all areas that deal with trade under one department, or to break up large departments into a number of smaller agencies. As an example, Mulvaney said there are 43 different workforce-training programs across at least 13 agencies — without a single point person in charge of them — that could be brought under one roof.

The adjustments will then be included in the fiscal 2019 budget, which the administration will start putting together this September.

That budget already is facing opposition in Congress, and many programs the administration would like to target could only be eliminated through legislation.

“Congress’s priorities may be a little different. Any of you who follow the appropriations process understand there are certain things that Congress can actually make us do,” Mulvaney said. “We’ll follow the law when it comes to that. To the extent we have discretion under the law, then the discretion will be exercised in the method best possible to effectuate the president’s policies.”Go to Bloomberg to read more

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Every transition or reorganisation is not an easy task. Therefore, top experts are usually involved to design each and every step reflecting balance between maximum simplicity, efficiency and convenience. Needless to say that such balance shall be in total compliance with the existing legal requirements.

To achieve optimum balance and compliance with effective legislation, it is normal that the team of top experts do not work in isolation. Instead, a few draft specifying various scenarios of transition/reorganisation will be presented by the team to representative of different departments or organizations.

Usually the presentation is followed by the stream of countless meetings and constant “two-way” communication to ensure that all aspects (big and small) are duly covered. And of course, the army of lawyers would closely monitor each and every step.

Even after so much manhours of a very hard work and top-level of professionalism of every team member, it is common that there will be some imperfections. It is also possible that in some cases reorganization/transition process would lead to a major shortcomings with serious consequences.

It is fair to highlight that such imperfections or even major shortcoming are due to one factor – people objectively are not able to foresee all circumstances that may happen in the future. So far, even the best of the best cannot identify what future holds with 100% accuracy.

Now. What shall we expect out of Trump’s plan on a widespread reorganization of the entire government of the United States?

I do not know whether anything of that scale happened before. What is clear to me is the fact that this task has a gigantic scale. Because it is about reshaping the government bodies of the country which is #1 world economy. It is not a rocket science to understand that to a certain degree functionality of the US government will be affected during this process and, for a short period, after the process is complete.

Also, the timing for such reshaping could not be more wrong from political, economic and social points of view, both internationally and domestically.

Leading analysts indicate that signs point at potential for the global recession to take place in about 12 to 18 months. That would mean decline in global demand and spending which would send crude oil price beck to its lowest level. Not to mention that other industries will be affected too.

At the same time. US corporate debt is reaching unsustainable level. Since the heaviest share of the debt belongs to the energy sector, the sustained low oil price environment, the rate hike and global recession may lead to the next banking crisis. Because bankruptcies of a number of energy companies will force banks to write off a huge amount of debt. If banks are not sufficiently capitalized, it does not promise happy future.

Dramatically increased political tension after the US air strike on Syria, which begin to shape up as a military stand-off may defocus from another threat – ISIS. 

Such political and economic conditions require strong and well functioning government bodies with ability to react quickly and efficiently. Taking into account the entire package of the issues, in my opinion, any functional disruption of the government may lead to irreversible consequences. 

Finally, Donald Trump and his team members do not have the required level of experience. Content of this Article or other published materials do not provide any details of his plan, only very general statement which mean actually nothing. Or should I say that official statements made so far could mean absolutely anything. It suggests that there is a complete lack of transparency.

As far as I understand, today in the United States transparency is important as ever due to another important factor. Trump has unprecedented level of conflict of interest.

If I put all these pieces together, I do not have to have superpower or at least magic crystal ball to understand that something substantial and negative in its nature has a real chance to materialise. 

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