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June 14, 2011 - 12:52pm


Yesterday, in a blog post titled, my counterpart at the White House, Macon Phillips outlined the President and Vice-President's plans to improve how the federal government delivers information and services to the public online by reducing the number of websites it maintains. It's part of the Campaign to Cut Waste -- a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the federal government.
Since the Energy Department owns hundreds of websites -- about 86 domains and hundreds of subdomains -- we're answering the President's call, seizing the opportunity to streamline web operations, reduce duplicative spending and improve overall web communications.
And to top it off, the website reform effort we've launched at the Energy Department will ultimately save taxpayers more than $10 million per year.
Here's how:

Step One: Identify our Website Footprint.
In order to determine what to reduce, we need to determine what we have and how much it costs. This spring, we began an aggressive effort to identify all of the websites the Department owns and maintains in order to educate our website reform efforts.
Step Two: Eliminate Wasteful Spending by Consolidating and Reducing Websites.
For the past several months, we've been working on what we call the Renewal Project, the initiative to provide a one-platform solution (i.e branding, content management system, hosting, etc.) for our public-facing websites. Where possible, we'll be consolidating our headquarter websites into one platform – eliminating duplicative costs on website infrastructure.
Step Three: Establish Clear Governance and Guidance.
In mid-2010, with the support of Secretary Chu and Deputy Secretary Poneman, the Office of Public Affairs launched my office, the New Media Office, to retool the Energy Department's online presence. While we're playing point on website reform, we've also worked with web management and new media staff across the Department to establish the Energy Web Council to facilitate the sharing of ideas and web best practices, encourage collaboration and resource sharing, and keep us ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving space.

As OMB Director Jack Lew mentioned yesterday the Energy Department's website reform efforts are already underway. In the past six months alone we've saved taxpayers over $1 million by not building some new websites and consolidating others.
As digital communications becomes even more central to delivering information and services to the public, the Energy Department will need to make new investments in this area. The process we are undertaking now will put those efforts on a much better footing -- rationalizing our approach, making it more strategic and avoiding costly redundancies and inefficiencies. This more strategic approach will get us more bang for the buck, ensuring the American public gets the information they need, while eliminating wasteful spending none of us can afford.