Agencies, meet your reviewers


President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team yesterday announced a roster of 19 heavyweights who will conduct top-to-bottom reviews of federal agencies beginning next week.

The agency review teams will complete a thorough review of departments, agencies and commissions to provide Obama and his advisers information need to make strategic policy, budgetary and personnel decisions prior to the Jan. 20 inauguration.

As this press release  from the Obama transition Web site illustrates, most of the names should ring a bell to employees who were around during the previous Democratic administration under President Clinton. There’s Sally Katzen, who headed the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and later was deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget; Josh Gotbaum, who held Senate-confirmed positions at the Treasury and Defense departments and at OMB; and Thomas Donilon, who was assistant secretary of the State Department for public affairs. A few — including John P. White, who will co-chair the Defense Department review team — go back as far as the Carter administration.

It just goes to show, everything old is new again eventually.


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