ArchiveTitle: Status: "Strengthening Partnership In Intergov.Service
Date: September 1994
STATUS OF NATIONAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS RELATED TO:
"STRENGTHENING THE PARTNERSHIP
INTERGOVERNMENTAL SERVICE DELIVERY"
FSLO1 IMPROVE THE DELIVERY OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC GRANT PROGRAMS
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
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
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 REDUCE RED TAPE THROUGH REGULATORY AND MANDATE RELIEF
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
"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
FSL03 SIMPLIFY REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS
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
FSL04 ELIMINATE NEEDLESS PAPERWORK BY SIMPLIFYING COMPLIANCE
FSL04.1 Simplify grant compliance certifications by modifying
NPR and OMB exploring the best way to implement this
recommendation, that must be fleshed out in consultation with
FSL05 SIMPLIFY ADMINISTRATION BY MODIFYING THE COMMON GRANT
RULES ON SMALL PURCHASES
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 STRENGTHEN THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PARTNERSHIP
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-
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
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