An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On
It may be too early to declare total victory, but the battle to transform the federal regulatory culture of control and punishment to one of cooperation and results won an overwhelming response from federal regulators and applause and gratitude from those who are being regulated.
16,000 Pages of Unnecessary Rules Will Go
On February 21, President Clinton ordered a regulatory overhaul and gave the Cabinet and heads of regulatory agencies until June 1 to report back to him. On the appointed day, agencies told the President that collectively they looked at 86,000 pages of rules affecting everything from clean air to workplace safety and propose to get rid of 16,000 pages of outdated or unnecessary rules on American businesses and the public.
Regulators also plan to substantially reinvent about 40 percent of their rules to conform to a new regulatory spirit of trust and cooperation. But, as the President directed, they will vigorously enforce both the remaining and reinvented rules for those who willfully pursue actions that threaten the health and safety of the Nation.
Agencies said they held more than 250 meetings across the country to create grassroots partnerships with those who are affected by regulations. These meetings drew praise from businesses, private citizens and the news media.
Agencies also plan to increase negotiated rulemaking and said they will develop performance measures that focus on results, not processes. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop a system that measures workplace safety results rather than the number of inspections and penalties.
Business People Applaud the New Regulatory Approach
President Clinton and Vice President Gore summarized the regulatory reform underway before 3,000 participants at the White House Conference on Small Business in Washington, DC on June 12. "We're committed to making the regulatory burden lighter--literally lighter," the President told a cheering audience as he asked that the 16,000 pages of soon-to-be-gone rules be stacked on the stage.
The President also announced plans to simplify laws and regulations governing pension plans. "The pension laws....are now so utterly complicated that you need a SWAT team of lawyers and accountants to help you fill out the forms and comply with the rules," he said.
The REGO TVNET Consortium is looking into a live television broadcast by satellite of the President's Quality Awards ceremony at the Eighth Annual National Conference on Federal Quality. Broadcast time is expected to be 1 p.m., EDT, Aug. 2.
Vice President Gore and Defense Secretary William Perry have been invited to present the awards. Winners are: Presidential Award for Quality: Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Quality Improvement Prototype Awards: Red River Army Depot, NASA Kennedy Space Center; Region 2 GSA Federal Supply Services, and Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; finalists: Air Force 46th Test Wing, Defense Contract Management Area Operations, Garden City, IRS Fresno Service Center, TVA Fossil and Hydro Power, and Mayport Naval Station.
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President Clinton wrote Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on April 5 communicating his strong opposition to reducing federal retirement benefits. "....I do not believe we should reduce the retirement benefits of federal employees and increase their required retirement contributions in order to help finance a tax cut for wealthy individuals and corpora-
tions....This bill is unfair to federal employees. I strongly oppose enactment of H.R. 1215."
On June 9, President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced reinvention proposals to streamline wage and income reporting requirements, eventually leading to a one-stop electronic filing system for federal and state governments. For individuals and businesses, it will mean filing only once. Agencies will then share information.
While the President, Vice President, and selected delegates from the White House Conference on Small Business looked on, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Labor Deputy Secretary Thomas Glynn, Commissioner of Social Security Shirley Chater, and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Margaret Richardson. The MOU implements the Simplified Tax and Wage Reporting System (STAWRS).
o NPR's New Online U.S. Business Advisor and How Your Agency Can Use It to Provide Information to Business (Valerie Kaplo at 202- 632-0150, ext.118)
o BenchNet Is Open: Promising Reinvention Practices Are Online (Jordan Stern at 202- 632-0150, ext. 151)
o More Hammer Awards
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