The Smart Lean Government project wants to look at who uses government services rather than the agencies where they come from in order to find efficiencies. For example, they want to make it so a person deals with the government one time when they are born, once when they buy a home and so on.
“There have been well over a decade of attempts to consolidate redundancy in government IT and once again we’re seeing that push to consolidate,” said Mark Forman, the first administrator of the Office of E-Government and Information Technology under President George W. Bush and a member of the Smart Lean Advisory Council. “What we’ve learned is that redundancy in IT is a direct reflection of redundancy in government programs.”
“Every time there’s been a budget reduction, the path of least resistance has been to use a sort of salami slicer across-the-board,” Forman added. “We need a smart way to rationalize the costs, the benefits, the data and the people associated with these programs and that’s what this architecture gives you.”
The advisory council is seeking funding for a pilot to show how Smart Lean could root out duplication in services to a particular community such as veterans or health care recipients. The pilot also would look at barriers to consolidation at each level, such as vested interests and congressional mandates, according to a proposal.
Smart Lean doesn’t necessarily aim to reorganize government agencies and responsibilities, advisory council members said, but to reorganize workflows. That virtual reorganization might lead to a physical reorganization, though, they added.