The concept of applying continuous process improvement to government operations got a large boost today when Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich became the first person to sign a pledge to reduce the national debt over the next five years via Lean Six Sigma cost-cutting principles.

On a visit to the town of Hudson, N.H., USA, the former House Speaker publicly signed a document that is being called the Strong America Now pledge, which was drafted by Mike George, a Texas-based business consultant who leads a grassroots organization that supports continuous improvement methods. George, who created the pledge to encourage all GOP candidates to make Six Sigma an important plank in their platforms, said he has commitments from at least three other candidates to sign the document.

Under the language of the pledge, Gingrich promised to “eliminate spending deficits and start paying down the national debt by 2017 by deploying Lean Six Sigma waste reduction methods to detect and eliminate 25 percent of spending per year across the the federal government.”

The pledge also calls for each candidate to attend at least two days of Lean Six Sigma training and, if elected, to complete a waste reduction project before that candidate’s inauguration.

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