The following post appears courtesy of Attorney General Eric Holder
Since this Administration’s earliest days, President Obama has signaled his commitment to conserving resources – and saving precious taxpayer dollars – by cutting costs, streamlining government operations, and working to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse wherever we find it. Across the Justice Department, achieving these goals has been a top priority. And we’ve made critical – and, at times, extremely difficult – decisions to improve efficiency and reduce spending.
For example, at the beginning of this year, I ordered a Justice Department-wide hiring freeze, and instructed my colleagues at every level to limit travel, training, and other costs to only those needs that are absolutely essential. This order remains in effect – and, to date, the reductions in conference spending alone have already provided savings of $14 million over the same period last year.
In June, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched an Administration-wide Campaign to Cut Waste, and directed every office and agency in the Federal Government to take their cost-cutting efforts to the next level. Once again, the Justice Department rose to the challenge.
I am proud to report that the Department has taken significant, aggressive action to make good on our promise to act as sound stewards of taxpayer funds. [Earlier this week/Last week], we announced a series of measures that will increase our efficiency, maintain our critical law enforcement and public safety activities, and save more than $130 million.
We’re determined to meet current budgetary challenges by more effectively using the Department’s resources, realigning functions in various offices, and lowering lease costs by consolidating or reducing office space wherever possible. Based on the guidance of Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the recommendations of Justice Department leaders at every level, and the robust efforts of the Advisory Council for Savings and Efficiencies – which I created in July 2010, and which has already provided more than $50 million in savings – my colleagues and I will continue to seek new ways to reduce spending and increase the efficiency of our day-to-day-operations, without compromising our effectiveness.
In this time of uncommon challenges and unprecedented threats, the need to conserve scarce resources – and to accomplish more with less – has never been more apparent, or more urgent. Across the Department of Justice, we are fully committed to these efforts. And, throughout the Administration, I am confident in our ability to build on this record of success.