Title: Status: "Strengthening Partnership In Intergov.Service


Author: NPR

Date: September 1994









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. As passed in the

Senate, the amendment provides the Community Enterprise Board

authority to waive any requirements applicable under Federal law

or regulation necessary for the implementation of local

flexibility plans. The bill is currently in conference.

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 community.

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 goals.

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 programs.

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


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 requirements.

NPR and OMB exploring the best way to implement this

recommendation, that must be fleshed out in consultation with





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.

OMB has developed a proposed amendment to the common rule. The

change has now been cleared by 8 of the 25 agencies prior to

publication in the Federal Register.



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


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


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 Provision".

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


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 strategy.

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 innovations.

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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