- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2011

As part of the Obama administration’s campaign to promote transparency, the White House announced today it intends to eliminate the public’s access to half of the federal government’s websites within the next year.

The White House said there are nearly 2,000 websites operated by the federal government, which it said confuses people.

“With so many separate sites, Americans often do not know where to turn for information,” the office of Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. said in a statement. “The administration will immediately put a halt to the creation of new websites. The administration will also shut down or consolidate 25% of the 2,000 sites over the next few months and set a goal of cutting the number of separate, standalone sites in half over the next year.”

It called the campaign of winnowing access to government web sites part of the president’s campaign “targeting duplication and waste.” The administration did not give an estimate of how much money it believes could be saved by halving the government’s Internet sites.

A White House official defended the move, saying it will actually improve access.

White House New Media DirectorMacon Phillips has said previously that the government doesn’t need, for example, multiple web sites dedicated to invasive plan.

In a statement, Mr. Obama said, “as we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game. No amount of waste is acceptable — not when it’s your money; not at a time when so many families are already cutting back.”

Mr. Biden hosted an event at the White House Monday to announce he is taking on a new role holding the Cabinet accountable for cutting waste in their agencies.

White House officials didn’t say how the administration will determine which web sites to cut. But the president is creating an 11-member “government oversight and accountability board,” comprised of current executive branch officials, “to help federal agencies improve their performance.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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