An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators,Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On
Reinventing Government II took no vacation this summer as federal workers across the nation kept busy improving customer service, reducing the regulatory burden on the public, creating grassroots partnerships and trying out new ideas. Here are a few of the highlights.
PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT RELEASED REGULATORY REFORM REPORTS FOR SBA, HUD, EDUCATION, AND FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD ON JULY 21
- Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said Education plans to eliminate or revise 93
percent of its regulations. For new programs, the department will write as few regulations as possible. The groundbreaking Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the School to Work Opportunities Act were implemented with no regs at all. The regulations for the Title I program for disadvantaged students, issued June 29, embody the reinvention principles of flexibility, accountability, grassroots involvement, and consensual negotiation. The department is also dramatically reducing paperwork and forms. For information, call Jim Bradshaw, (202) 401-2310.
- The Small Business Administration will eliminate 51 percent of its regulations by the
end of the year. "The rest will be revised for improvements in simplicity and clarity--we want plain language regulations that read like a paperback," said SBA Administrator Philip
Lader. The agency will also reduce or eliminate several reporting requirements and will
continue its Grassroots Regulatory Partnership Meetings that have been well received by small businesses. For information, call Patricia Young, (202) 205-6740.
- "We have taken a slow-moving, highly bureaucratic agency and moved it into the next
century," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry G. Cisneros. HUD will eliminate 65 percent of its regulatory pages. It has also consolidated application and reporting processes for Community Development Block Grants, HOME, and others, and has provided software to grantees to submit plans and reports electronically. HUD is also at the vanguard of agencies in developing a performance measurement system that measures results rather than processes. For information, call Mary Ellen Bergeron, (202) 708-2063.
- The Federal Housing Finance Board released a report detailing its actions to minimize the regulatory burden on Federal Home Loan Banks. For information, call Bill Carey, (202) 408-2986.
VICE PRESIDENT, FIRST LADY ANNOUNCE HEALTH CARE REFORMS THAT EMPHASIZE PATIENT CARE OVER PAPERWORK
Health care reforms outlined by the Health Care Financing Administration on July 11 will
eliminate a burdensome form that a doctor must sign before Medicare will pay a hospital, even though the form duplicates information already on the patient's chart. "From now on, we will start with the assumption that the vast majority of America's doctors and hospitals are honest people and reputable institutions, not dens of thieves," Vice President Gore said. This reform, one of many, will get rid of 11 million forms, 200,000 hours of physician time and cut labor costs by $23,500 per hospital each year.
HCFA will also begin moving toward use of a standard claim form for all federal health
care programs, including the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and HCFA Administrator Bruce C. Vladeck joined the Vice President in announcing HCFA's reforms.
VETERANS CANTEEN SERVICE REINVENTS THE OLD-STYLE CAFETERIA IN VA HOSPITALS: NOW IT'S A TUMMY-APPEALING FOOD COURT
Outpatients, visitors, and staff in VA hospitals across the nation can now get plenty
of choices in food--including name brands and franchise fare--plus quick service and a
positive dining experience in new food courts that have replaced the traditional cafeteria
with its bland food and assembly line service. "The change is due to a dedicated group of VA employees who have revolutionized food service," said National Performance Review Director Bob Stone who went to San Diego on Aug. 16 to present a Hammer Award to the Veterans Canteen Service Food Operations staff for their aggressive reinvention project. For more information, call Michael Wallace in St.
Louis, (314) 845-1200.
NEW U.S. GENERAL STORE FOR SMALL BUSINESS IS A BIG HIT IN HOUSTON
Small business owners or "wannabes" in Houston may have tapped a new kind of well--the kind that gushes assistance and information from a
coalition of federal agencies organized by the Federal Executive Board. It's the nation's
first U.S. General Store for Small Business. Launched on July 6, the pilot is a walk-in
operation in a renovated shopping center. It has flexible business hours and knowledgeable government workers who help business people through rules on taxes, regulations, and financing. "This is government saying, 'How can I help?'" said former Project Manager Fred Keyser. Traffic has been brisk, according to Office Manager Sandra Ellison. For information, call Sandra at (713) 643-8000.
COAST GUARD'S SHIPYARD IS FIRST TO BE ISO 9001
The US Coast Guard's nearly century-old shipyard in Baltimore is the first organization
in the federal government and the first public shipyard to achieve the prestigious
International Organization for Standardization 9001 certification (standards to produce
reliable products). For more information, call Dottie Mitchell at (410) 636-7238.
We have changed our name from Information Express to Reinvention Express. For more
information, contact Pat Wood or Steve Earle, National Performance Review, 750-17th St., NW,
Washington, DC 20006, (202) 632-0150, ext. 102; FAX: (202) 632-0390; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.