1/14/98: Vice President Gore Announces Three Reinvention Initiatives at International REGO Forum


National Partnership for Reinventing Government
For Release Thursday, January 14, 1999

Vice President Gore Announces Three Reinvention Initiatives at International REGO Forum

A Reinvention is based on this fundamental truth: we can only achieve our highest democratic ideals by using practical approaches that empower and unleash the energy of ordinary citizens.

--Vice President Al Gore

Vice President Gore is announcing today three key initiatives in his effort to reinvent government. These initiatives address civil service improvement, children's well-being, and measuring customer service satisfaction.

Civil Service Improvement

As part of a larger effort to improve the performance management systems of the Federal workforce and to encourage a culture of high performance and labor/management collaboration, the administration is committed to working with agencies and worker representatives to develop legislative proposals that more strongly link pay and performance for federal employees and help agencies recruit the best and the brightest. These proposals will directly address the two issues identified as most in need of attention in the recent federal employee survey--dealing with poor performers and improving labor/management relationships. The proposals will reflect these principles:
  • Permitting flexible pay systems so pay can be more performance-oriented.
  • Allowing agencies to evaluate their managers, including SES, on a balanced set of results, including the GPRA goals, customer satisfaction rates and the outcome of employee satisfaction surveys. These evaluations would guide in setting salaries and pay bonuses for these managers.
  • Providing agencies with flexible policies for hiring and retaining a high quality workforce. OPM will propose new hiring options that will permit alternative selection procedures, authorize agencies to make direct job offers in critical areas like information technology, establish additional means for recruiting a diverse workforce and use non-permanent employees, with appropriate benefits, to expedite adapting to workload and mission shifts.
The legislative proposals would seek to establish a set of standards, based on these principles, that each agency would use to create a particular system for their situation. Labor and management, as part of our rejuvenated partnership, would then need to mutually agree upon a plan before its implementation. The goal of these proposals is to work with the appropriate Congressional committees and staffs to develop the actual legislation based on these principles.

Results for Children

Too often red tape gets in the way of meeting the needs of children, and the bureaucratic rules and regulations of many different programs -- however well intended --make it unnecessarily hard for communities to respond effectively.

Today the Vice President is announcing a new approach that cuts red tape and meets the needs of America's most precious resource -- our children.

The federal government will enter into ten partnerships with state and local governments that will increase their flexibility in using federal program dollars. These partnerships will focus on using key indicators that reliably chart measurable improvements in the lives of children. The flexibility and creativity given to partnership communities will enable them to save significant dollars which can then be devoted to the well-being of children.

This initiative has four key components:

  1. The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics will help partners use key indicators (such as infant and child mortality, immunization and youth crime rates) as benchmarks of child well-being in measuring and demonstrating progress.
  2. Consolidation of planning and reporting for programs with related goals, and greater flexibility in administering grant funds, saving time and precious resources.
  3. Development of new ways to pool the savings from Federal discretionary grant programs, creating a local Child Well-Being Investment Fund to increase services to children and their families.
  4. Lessons learned by the partners will be shared in a how to manual, helping to free other communities in cutting red tape and improving children's services.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

In 1993, 21% of federal employees reported their agencies had a customer focus. In the most recent federal employee survey, 75% now say their agencies have a customer focus. To take full advantage of this remarkable change in attitude, the Vice President is determined to take the customer service revolution one step further -- he wants government to provide service equal to the best in business.

The Vice President has asked the 32 agencies that serve over 90% of the government's customers to participate in a government-wide customer satisfaction survey that will compare the quality of their services to the private sectors.

Dave Barram, Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) has committed to provide the support necessary for securing survey services that will compare customer satisfaction with federal agency services with those provided by the private sector.

The Vice President's NPR and the Presidential Management Council will bring together a group of agency experts to determine the best approach to meet this objective.

The Vice President has asked that the first customer satisfaction survey be completed this year.

Press contacts:

Kelly Paisley--(202) 694-0051 or kelly.paisley@npr.gov
Tom Flavin--(202) 694-0032 or tom.flavin@npr.gov (Pager: 1-888-948-5708)

Related Sources

Vice President Gore to Chair Global Forum on Reinventing Government
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