The Edmond Sun

December 2, 2013

Lankford aims to bring entrepreneurs to government

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Congressman James Lankford has introduced legislation to infuse federal agencies with private-sector expertise. The bipartisan Entrepreneur-in-Residence Act is supported by private-sector technology firms.

“Through hands-on experience and collaboration, our American entrepreneurs and business leaders know how to improve our federal acquisition procedures,” Lankford said of the measure that is cosponsored by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif.

Best practices would be shared by 30 structured volunteer positions, free of charge to the government.

Civilian EIRs would report directly to agency heads with recommendations and assistance in making operations respond more efficiently to business needs. Duplicative or ineffective programs would be identified by the entrepreneurs.

“Our business leaders can advise executive agencies how to engage with American businesses, so we can compete in the international market,” Lankford said. “The EIR program would undoubtedly breathe new life into antiquated federal practices and systems in the executive branch. I look forward to consideration by the full House as soon as possible.”

Honda said the program ensures that small business owners can foster a more favorable economic climate for growth, innovation and competitiveness.

“There is certainly much more U.S. policy makers can learn from private-sector success,” Honda said.

The EIR model was implemented by Dell in 2011 by bringing on board a leading entrepreneur in green information technology, Ingrid Vanderveldt, to serve as its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence. The EIR program would place entrepreneurial business advocates with the government to ease unnecessary regulatory obstacles, Honda said.

“Dell has experienced great success with our own Entrepreneur-in-Residence program by helping us bring an outside perspective to our business and also better engage with other entrepreneurs,” said Michael Young, Dell’s vice president for Global Government Affairs.

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Act fosters the economic engine of small business growth, Young said.

“We applaud Rep. Mike Honda and Rep. James Lankford for their leadership in bringing the innovative insight of entrepreneurs to government,” Young said. | 341-2121