2Center or American Progress | Executive Reorganization
Te las presiden o underake a reorganizaion o he ype Obama is conemplaing was Carer, who campaigned on he promise o cleaning up Washingon. Par o hispledge was o conduc a comprehensive reorganizaion o he execuive branch simi-lar o he one he did as Georgia’s governor rom 1971 o 1975. Carer’s “PresidenialReorganizaion Projec” was successul.Te Deparmen o Energy Organizaion Ac o 1977 creaed he Deparmen o Energy by bringing ogeher he Aomic Energy Commission, he Federal PowerCommission, and energy programs rom he deparmens o agriculure and heinerior. wo years laer, Carer’s proposal o orm a new Deparmen o Educaion was enaced by Congress. Lawmakers also agreed o 10 smaller reorganizaion plans,covering civil righs enorcemen, disaser assisance, and nuclear power regulaion,among oher areas. Carer also oversaw major civil service reorm including hecreaion o he Senior Execuive Service.Presiden Obama has made a similar promise o reorganize governmen, saying“We can’ win he uure wih a governmen o he pas.” In March he asked Jerey Ziens, he U.S. Chie Perormance Ocer, wih developing specic proposals orreorganizaion ocused on rade and compeiiveness. Specic recommendaions aredue o he presiden his week. As he Obama adminisraion shis gear rom developing proposals o geting hemenaced and implemened, he presiden should ake accoun o six lessons rom heCarer era:
Be crystal clear about reorganization’s goals.
Te more concree and policy-relaedhe beter.
Don’t underestimate the political capital required of the president.
He mus also beprepared o inves his personal ime o achieve a successul reorganizaion.
Be ready for the war within.
Te presiden mus spend as much ime selling his planinernally as he does o ouside groups. Cabine members and agency heads caredeeply abou ur and will gh hard o deend i.
Be ready for the war on the Hill.
Reorganizaions can only be enaced by Congress.Resisance is vehemen especially among lawmakers whose power base is hreaenedas commitee boundaries change.
Enlist external allies and understand foes.
Key rade organizaions, ineres groups,governors, and mayors wih a sake mus be idenied and brough on board, o pre-emp opposiion o he presiden’s plan.
Reorganization requires organization.
Tere is more o reorganizaion han he poliics.Tey are major organizaional change projecs and require a skilled eam o lead hem.Tere is one overarching ruh o reorganizaion ha underlies hese recommendaions:Reorganizaion mus ollow policy—no vice versa. Shuing boxes on an org char isno a subsiue or policy reorm. On he oher hand, a badly organized governmencan hold back implemenaion o good policy.