FSL01.1 Create flexibility and encourage innovation

by designing a bottom-up solution to the problem of

grant proliferation and its accompanying red tape.


HR 820, National Competitiveness Act of 1994, passed the Senate on

March 16, 1994. Includes (as Title XI) the "Local Empowerment and

Flexibility Act of 1994" This legislation establishes a pilot

program (maximum of 30 communities in maximum of 6 states) to empower

and provide communities the flexibility to integrate programs and

program funds across existing Federal assistance categories.

Included are programs for economic development, employment training,

health, housing, nutrition, rural development, and other social

services. Localities must develop a local flexibility plan which

includes, among other things, specific goals and measurable

performance and a system for the comprehensive evaluation of the

impact of the plan on the participants, the community and program

costs. It provides the Community Enterprise Board authority to waive

any requirements applicable under Federal law or regulation necessary

for the implementation of local flexibility plans. Conferees have

been named in both the House and the Senate.

P.L. 103-227, Goals 2000, establishes six flexibility demonstration

projects under the "Education Flexibility Partnership Demonstration

Act". Under this demonstration, States can apply for designation as

one of the six "Ed-Flex Partnership States" which would give them the

authority to waive any statutory or regulatory requirement applicable

to any program or Act as described in the law without seeking

approval from the Department of Education. States will be eligible

for designation if they have prepared an improvement plan, have

waived State statutory and regulatory requirements for the local

authorities within the demonstration area, and have established

performance measures for ensuring accountability to outcomes in the

improvement plans.

The Administration's community empowerment initiative is designed to

solicit bottom-up proposals from communities on how to revitalize

individual communities. Applications for empowerment zone/enterprise

community designation require community-wide comprehensive, strategic

plans which look at economic and human development factors in a


Example of state-initiated bottom-up grant consolidation:

West Virginia and Indiana submitted Consolidated State Plans which

included 199 Federal programs that serve children and families.

These State "consolidations", as proposed, do not require legislative

change or waivers. They would be accomplished through administrative

processes, such as cost allocation, but from the customer level would

appear consolidated. President Clinton endorsed these consolidated

plans in January.

Various departmental initiatives are being developed and implemented

in this area as well. For example, the Department of Education's

Improving America's Schools Act proposes to:

o permit Title I school wide programs to incorporate funding

from other programs, so that children attending high- poverty

schools can benefit from a cohesive educational program rather than

receiving separate, often disconnected, categorical services.

o allow state and local educational agencies to submit

consolidated plans, rather than a separate plan for each program, in

order to present a single, comprehensive strategy for moving the

state or community toward achievement of the National Education


On October 26, 1993, the President signed an executive order

entitled, "Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership". In this

executive order, the President called for increasing flexibility for

State and Local waivers. He stated that each agency shall review and

streamline its waiver application process and "to the extent

practicable and permitted by law, consider any application by a

State, local, or tribal government for a waiver of statutory or

regulatory requirements in connection with any program administered

by that agency with a general view toward increasing opportunities

for utilizing flexible policy approaches at the State, local and

tribal level in cases in which the proposed waiver is consistent with

the applicable Federal policy objectives and is otherwise

appropriate". To the fullest extent practicable, the President

stated that decisions for waivers should be rendered within 120 days

of the receipt of the waiver application.

FSL01.2 Support proposals for federal-state flexibility grants.


Several proposals, at various stages in the legislative process, have

been developed by agencies. For example:

o P.L. 103-227, Goals 2000: Educate America Act, establishes a

national framework for education reform and contains measures for

systemic educational reform using both top-down and bottoms-up

strategies. State and local educational agencies are encouraged to

develop comprehensive improvement plans that will provide a coherent

framework for the implementation of reauthorized Federal education

and related programs in an integrated fashion. States may receive an

allotment of funds for systemic improvement efforts and must submit a

State Improvement Plan after its first year of funding. The

Secretary has been given authority to waive Federal statutory and

regulatory requirements to enhance flexibility in the implementation

of systemic improvement plans.

o The Human Services Amendments of 1994, P.L. 103-252, signed by

the President on May 18, 1994, created the Community-Based Family

Resource Program by consolidating four HHS programs: the Family

Resource and Support Program; Emergency Child Protective Services

Grants; the Child Abuse Community-Based Prevention Program; and the

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The purpose of the

new consolidated program is to assist each state to develop and

implement, or expand and enhance, a comprehensive, statewide system

of family resource services through collaboration with existing

education, vocational rehabilitation, health, mental health,

employment and training, child welfare, and other social services

agencies within the state.

o Labor's Reemployment Act proposes to consolidate six benefit and

training programs for dislocated workers who lose their jobs as a

result of government policy decisions: Trade Adjustment Assistance,

Clean Air Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement bridge

program, and the defense conversion and defense diversification


o Education's Improving America's Schools Act, the reauthorization

bill for elementary and secondary education programs, proposes to

consolidate the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education programs

and the Chapter 2 State Grants program into the Eisenhower

Professional Development program; consolidate the Drug-Free Schools

and Communities Act and the Safe Schools Act into a Safe and Drug-

Free Schools program; and consolidate the current Immigrant Education

program into the Bilingual Education authority which would create a

targeted discretionary grant program for school districts heavily

affected by immigration.

o HUD proposes combining HOPE homeownership programs into one

program under FHA; combining categorical McKinney Act homeless

assistance programs; merging the housing certificate and voucher

programs; and combining the HOPE VI and Urban Revitalization


NPR has requested agency input on candidates for consolidation for a

possible mega-consolidation bill at some later date, and will work

with state and local stakeholders to further develop ideas.

FSL01.3 Establish a cabinet-level enterprise board

to oversee new initiatives in community empowerment.


The Community Enterprise Board was created by Presidential Memorandum

September 8, 1993. This board is chaired by the Vice President, with

the President's Assistants for economic and domestic policy serving

as vice chairs. Heads from 15 Federal agencies serve as members.





FSL02.1 Give cabinet secretaries and agency heads

the flexibility to authorize selective relief from

regulations and mandates.


See description of HR 820 and other actions under FSL01.1 above.

In addition to legislation, Federal agencies are doing what they can

to provide greater flexibility to improve government services. For

example, at the Department of Defense, Secretary Perry sent a memo on

waiver authority throughout DOD on March 28, 1994. The memo stated:

"The President and Vice President have charged us to radically change

the way the government operates -- to shift from top-down bureaucracy

to entrepreneurial government. To further this goal, I hereby

delegate to the Secretaries of the Military Departments and Directors

of the Defense Agencies the authority to waive with the approval of

the Secretary of Defense or Deputy Secretary of Defense any

requirement contained in a DOD Directive of with the approval of the

responsible OSD Staff Principal any requirement contained in a DOD

Instruction of Publications, for activities being streamlined or

reengineered in support of the National Performance Review. I expect

appropriate waiver proposals to be approved whenever possible. The

Service Secretaries and Defense Agency Directors may not supplement

the DOD requirements so waived and are encouraged to waive other

requirements within their authority as appropriate....A Staff

Principal's denial of a request will be subject to review by the

Secretary of Defense or Deputy Secretary of Defense.....".

FSL02.2 Issue a regulatory executive order addressing

the problems of unfunded federal mandates and regulatory relief.


Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning Review, signed September

30, 1993.

Executive Order 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership,

signed October 26, 1993.

Additionally, OMB has begun quarterly meetings with intergovernmental

partners on how to work together on regulations affecting State,

local and tribal governments. The first two meetings, held on

December 1, 1993 and March 23, 1994, were chaired by Sally Katzen,

Director of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Issues discussed included Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA),

waiver processes, and guidelines on unfunded mandates.





FSL03.1 Modify OMB circular A-87, "Cost Principles for State and

Local Governments", to provide a fee-for-service option in lieu of

cost reimbursement (covering administrative costs of grants).


OMB is planning consultation with states and localities to develop

details of fee-for-service option. Woody Jackson at OMB is taking

the lead.





FSL04.1 Simplify grant compliance certifications by modifying OMB's



NPR and OMB exploring the best way to implement this recommendation,

that must be fleshed out in consultation with stakeholders.





FSL05.1 Modify OMB circular A-102, "Grants and Cooperative

Agreements to State and Local Governments", to require that the

common grants management rules increase the dollar threshold for

small purchases by local governments from $25,000 to $100,000.


To accomplish this action item, OMB circulated a draft amendment to

the common rule for agency comment in February 94. OMB will publish

the proposed rule after incorporating agency comments.




FSL06.1 Reinvent the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental

Relations (ACIR) and charge it with responsibility for continuous

improvement in federal, state, and local partnership and

intergovernmental service delivery.


The President has appointed former Governor Bill Winters as ACIR

chairman and 19 new commissioners. This action by the President has

brought the ACIR to its full capacity as a 26 member Commission. The

President attended the first meeting with Bill Winters as chair on

December 1, 1993. In addition, ACIR has selected a new Executive

Director and has developed a work plan which includes as action items

the NPR recommendations directed to ACIR.

FSL06.2 Develop appropriate benchmarks and performance measures to

improve the understanding of public service delivery effectiveness.

The President should direct the Cabinet- level Enterprise Board

and/or request ACIR to provide leadership in developing a systematic

process to define and measure national benchmarks.


The Community Enterprise Board has addressed the issue of benchmarks

and established benchmarking as a priority in the Empowerment Zones

and Enterprise Communities initiative. The application, released

earlier this year, states, "A vision for change is not a laundry list

of concerns, shortcomings, and deficits. Instead, it is a strategic

map for revitalization........ A strategic plan also sets real goals

and performance benchmarks for measuring progress and establishes a

framework for assessing how new experience and knowledge can be

incorporated on an ongoing basis into a successful plan for


ACIR is planning to organize five task forces to address five

intergovernmental issues as part of a nationwide, consensus-building

initiative to strengthen the intergovernmental system. One of the

task forces will focus on "Benchmarking Intergovernmental Service


The Goals 2000: Educate America Act (P.L. 103-227, Title III, State

and Local Education Systemic Improvement) calls for the establishment

of benchmarks in State improvement plans to specify measurable goals

for improved student performance and for progress in implementation

of the State improvement plan as well as timelines for charting

progress in carrying out the plans.

NPR and the Alliance for Redesigning Government are encouraging State

benchmarking efforts such as those of Oregon, Utah, and Minnesota.

OMB has designated one Government Performance and Results Act

intergovernmental pilot in the area of child support enforcement.

FSL06.3 Convene meetings which draw together leaders from federal,

state and local government to review, refine, and advance

intergovernmental recommendations of the NPR.


The President and the Vice President met with both the Governors and

Mayors during those groups' mid-winter 1994 conferences. The

President also attended the first ACIR meeting under the newly-

appointed chair.

OMB has been actively consulting with state and local stakeholders

regarding the regulatory review process. See description under


The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Federal

agencies have continuous efforts underway to further strengthen

intergovernmental partnerships. For example, EPA has developed an

intergovernmental steering committee to guide efforts towards an

Agency/State environmental partnership. Through this committee, the

EPA has established principles for a more flexible grant process and

are in the process of establishing the necessary legislative


Outreach to state and local officials has been a central component of

the Administrations' welfare reform policy development process. The

White House Working Group on Welfare Reform, Family Support and

Independence, established by the President in May, 1993, has sought

and received considerable input from state and local leaders in

welfare reform.

ACIR has proposed a major nationwide initiative of research,

consultation, and consensus-building among federal, state and local

officials and private citizens, culminating in a "federal-state-local

leadership roundtable" in the Fall of 1995 to seek common ground

towards fundamental intergovernmental reform.

NPR is encouraging other intergovernmental activities such as the San

Antonio Federal Executive Board reinvention lab initiative to remove

red tape and improve internal operations so that intergovernmental

partners can work together to create flexibility and solve problems

in the community. In addition, the Department of Energy's (DOE)

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy reinvention lab on

"Reinventing Federal, State, and local partnerships" is working

toward better partnerships by involving stakeholders earlier and more

completely in the strategic, multi-year annual operating and budget

planning, by providing more flexibility in the implementation of

state and local provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and by

building more public/private collaborations to create and pilot


NPR is also partnering with the Alliance for Redesigning Government,

the Institute for Educational Leadership, the National Rural

Development Partnership, Interchange '94, the Federal Quality

Institute, the Indiana and West Virginia consolidate state plans for

children and family services, Partnership Minnesota, Oregon

Benchmarks, the Atlanta Project, and others to convene additional

intergovernmental and interagency forums focused on improving public

services to families and communities throughout the country.

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