A White House proposal to merge federal agencies dealing with business and trade into a single, Cabinet-level department has been some time in coming. President Barack Obama first announced the proposal in his State of the Union address a year ago. Last month, the administration kicked the proposal into high gear, announcing the President would seek the consolidation authority from Congress to reorganize agencies and departments dealing with trade.
The President hasn’t had that consolidation authority since the 1980s, and it’s been even longer since the executive branch was reorganized. If the White House plan goes through, it’s likely the government will turn to examples of private-sector consolidations for examples of what to do — and, perhaps, what not to do.
John Powers, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, specializes in the company’s mergers and acquisitions practice. JoAnn Boutelle is a former deputy chief financial officer with the Defense Department and is now a partner at Deloitte & Touche. Along with former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), now the director of Deloitte Federal Government Services, Powers and Boutelle joined In Depth with Francis Rose for a discussion of the proposed federal reorganization as well as the role the private sector can play in those consolidation efforts.