White House makes fresh push to curb wasteful spending

Reuters News
Posted: May 11, 2012 12:38 PM
White House makes fresh push to curb wasteful spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's chief budget officer will issue new guidelines on Friday to boost efficiency and protect U.S. taxpayer dollars from being misspent in a move the White House expects will save hundreds of millions of dollars.

The steps were outlined in a memorandum obtained by Reuters to be issued by Jeffrey Zients, the acting White House director of management and budget. They follow other measures by Obama to curb federal waste and also follow an outcry over lavish spending by government workers at a conference in Las Vegas.

"Today's guidance is part of our aggressive efforts to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely," Zients said in a blog posting to highlight the memo.

The measures will freeze the federal real estate footprint, meaning no new net additions to federal property holdings, and require federal agencies to cut spending on travel by 30 percent, while setting a higher bar to approve trips.

In addition, the guidelines will mandate that government-owned cars not be replaced until they are at least 3 years old or have been driven for 60,000 miles.

(Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Bill Trott)