Document Name: Appendix B: Status of Major Recommendations Affecting Governmental Systems
Date: 09/07/95
Owner: National Performance Review
Appendix B: Status of Major Recommendations Affecting Governmental Systems

The National Performance Review's (NPR's) September 7, 1993, report contains 130 major recommendations affecting governmentwide management systems such as budget, procurement, financial management, and personnel. Separate accompanying reports delineate these recommendations, breaking them into 417 specific action items. Now, two years later, agencies report that 27 percent of these action items are complete and another 63 percent are in progress. Following are highlights of these governmentwide system reinvention efforts.

Creating Quality Leadership

and Management

NPR Recommendations


Provide Improved Leadership and Management of the Executive Branch


Improve Government Performance Through Strategic and Quality Management


Strengthen the Corps of Senior Leaders


Improve Legislative-Executive Branch Relations

Progress to Date

The President continues to provide leadership on management issues. For example, he directed the Vice President to conduct a second performance review this past year to address new issues and revisit areas first looked at two years ago. The President's Management Council, which was created two years ago as recommended by NPR, has become a pivotal and effective force in policymaking and coordination of governmentwide reform initiatives, including customer service improvement, streamlining, and civil service reform. The President has also negotiated performance agreements with eight agency heads as a way of clarifying each agency's priorities, and additional agreements are under development.

The Vice President and cabinet secretaries have made a visible commitment to leading and managing in accordance with the Baldrige Quality Award criteria; in fact, 18 of the 24 largest agencies have created top-level quality councils to help lead their efforts. Although NPR recommended that a category be created within the Malcolm Baldrige Award for federal government agencies, this has not been done. A series of quality training initiatives are being promoted across agencies, however, by the training function formerly in the Office of Personnel Management.

Streamlining Management Control

NPR Recommendations


Implement a Systems Design Approach to Management Controls


Streamline the Internal Controls Program to Make It an Efficient and Effective Management Tool


Change the Focus of the Inspectors General


Increase the Effectiveness of Offices of General Counsel


Improve the Effectiveness of the General Accounting Office Through Increased Customer Feedback


Reduce the Burden of Congressionally Mandated Reports


Reduce Internal Regulations by More Than 50 Percent


Expand the Use of Waivers to Encourage Innovation

Progress to Date

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has taken a leadership role in streamlining management control systems by working to consolidate multiple reporting systems and integrate planning, budget, financial management, and performance reporting systems. For example, it rewrote OMB Circular A-123, "Internal Control Systems," as a succinct document-cutting it from 120 pages of process-oriented details to a 13-page set of principles that allow agencies the flexibility to best adapt them to their own environment. The revised circular has been renamed "Management Accountability and Control."

The Senate has passed S. 790, Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995, which will eliminate or modify more than 200 outdated or unnecessary congressionally mandated reporting requirements and place a sunset on an estimated 4,800 additional reports with an annual, semiannual, or other periodic reporting requirement four years after the bill's enactment.

The Inspectors General are, as illustrated in a recent report, making progress in implementing their January 1994 report, Vision and Strategies to Apply Our Reinvention Principles. Selected units in the General Accounting Office are documenting best practices, and the agency is beginning to use feedback loops more broadly.

All agencies are making progress in cutting their internal regulations in half: some continue to make significant progress. For example, the Department of Energy reduced its departmental orders from 312 to 236, with a cost avoidance of $38 million. The Community Empowerment Board is developing a process for obtaining waivers from federal regulations; it has received more than 1,000 requests from communities participating in the empowerment process.


Organizational Structures

NPR Recommendations


Reduce the Costs and Numbers of Positions Associated With Management Control Structures by Half


Use Multi-Year Performance Agreements Between the President and Agency Heads to Guide Downsizing Strategies


Establish a List of Specific Field Offices to Be Closed


The President Should Request Authority to Reorganize Agencies


Sponsor Three or More Cross-Departmental Initiatives Addressing Common Issues or Customers


Identify and Change Legislative Barriers to Cross-Organizational Cooperation

Progress to Date

All agencies have developed plans for internal streamlining and reducing the number of positions associated with management control structures. By the end of FY 1996, agencies will have cut about 74,000 supervisory positions. Also, agencies are ahead of the statutory timetable for cutting 272,900 positions by 1999. Under the direction of the President's Management Council, a governmentwide team assessed the federal government's field office structure and in February 1995 made recommendations for additional restructuring proposals.

The Administration continues to sponsor cross-departmental initiatives addressing common issues and customers. For example, it has created an approach to improve coordination of governmental statistics and is piloting cross-agency "one-stop" offices for small businesses and other government services in several locations around the country. In addition, the Administration has also created the U.S. Business Advisor as a one-stop electronic link to government for business, so individuals can more easily search federal rules and obtain information.

The President has not asked Congress for authority to reorganize agencies, but is instead achieving the efficiencies and other results desired through streamlining and joint agency efforts, such as the Electronic Benefits Task Force. Congress has not reduced barriers to cross-organizational cooperation.

Improving Customer Service

NPR Recommendations


Customer Service-Driven Programs in All Departments and Agencies That Provides Services Directly to the Public


Customer Service Performance Standards-Internal Revenue Service


Customer Service Performance Standards-Social Security Administration


Customer Service Performance Standards-Postal Service


Streamline Ways to Collect Customer Satisfaction and Other Information From the Public

Progress to Date

Last September, 150 agencies published standards telling their customers what kind of service to expect. The standards came from asking customers what they want, and are part of the agencies' response to the President's order to build a customer-driven government. In his order, the President set an overall service goal to "equal the best in business."

With the standards out, the agencies went to work to make good on their promises to be courteous, quick, accurate, and accessible. Agencies studied the best in business, running benchmarking studies on 1-800 services, complaint systems, distribution systems, and more. They also expanded training programs. For example, before the ink was dry on announcements of cuts and reorganization at the Farmers Rural Electric and Community Development Administration, all 12,500 employees had been trained in customer service skills.

Agencies also applied new information technologies to deliver better service. The Internal Revenue Service made tax forms available on the Internet-filling a huge demand as April 15 grew close. Agencies have developed new ways to serve as well. A "one-stop" U.S. General Store for Small Business opened in Houston, providing links to services offered by dozens of government agencies.

The President has directed agencies to measure their results and report them to their customers. To date, more than 1 million customers have joined in voluntary surveys of satisfaction. Agencies will publish their results this fall. In the meantime, more agencies are releasing customer service standards.


Results-Oriented Budgeting

NPR Recommendations


Develop Performance Agreements With Senior Political Leadership That Reflect Organizational and Policy Goals


Effectively Implement the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993


Empower Managers to Perform


Eliminate Employment Ceilings and Floors by Managing Within Budget


Provide Line Managers With Greater Flexibility to Achieve Results


Streamline Budget Development


Institute Biennial Budgets and Appropriations


Seek Enactment of Expedited Rescission Procedures

Progress to Date

As part of a shift to greater accountability for results, many federal agencies have developed performance agreements that describe their objectives and goals for the year. The Departments of Energy, Labor, and Transportation, among others, have made extensive use of performance agreements across their departments, tracking progress with innovative management information systems.

Twenty-five agencies are carrying out 71 pilot programs to define performance measures, well ahead of the schedule called for by the Government Performance and Results Act. Workgroups are developing common performance measures for such areas as research and development and public health. In Oregon, federal agencies are working with state and local government on statewide benchmarks and have signed a memorandum of understanding that grants the state greater flexibility in exchange for results.

In addition to its guidance and assistance on performance measures, requirements, and strategic planning, OMB increasingly has placed greater emphasis on integrating performance measures into budget development and presentation. OMB introduced a spring performance review to assess performance measures in every federal agency: subsequently, agencies will submit FY 1997 budgets that place a greater emphasis on the results they hope to achieve.

With an eye to empowering managers and streamlining budget development, OMB simplified the apportionment process, took steps to establish six pilot franchise funds, and initiated a review of the budget account structure as part of a broader review to improve the relationship between budget and program performance. However, with legislated employment reduction goals and, in some agencies, legislated employment floors, little progress has been made in allowing managers to manage against budget rather than against these ceilings and floors.

Legislation that includes provisions for biennial budgeting has been drafted and introduced in both houses and is awaiting congressional action (H.R. 3801, S. 1824). Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the Expedited Rescission Act.

Improving Financial Management

NPR Recommendations


Accelerate the Issuance of Federal Accounting Standards


Clarify and Strengthen the Financial Management Roles of OMB and Treasury


Fully Integrate Budget, Financial, and Program Information


Increase the Use of Technology to Streamline Financial Services


Use the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act to Improve Financial Services


"Franchise" Internal Services


Create Innovation Funds


Reduce Financial Regulations and Requirements


Simplify the Financial Reporting Process


Provide an Annual Financial Report to the Public


Strengthen Debt Collection Programs


Manage Fixed Asset Investments for the Long Term


Charge Agencies for the Full Cost of Employee Benefits

Progress to date has been excellent, but much work remains to be done. A very solid infrastructure is being established. Notably, the vast majority of federal accounting standards has been issued for governmentwide implementation and a financial systems framework established. Through the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Council, agencies and oversight organizations have developed a uniform vision, set of priorities, and program plan. FinanceNet has been institutionalized by the CFO Council and the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program as a mechanism for electronic interchange. The network's utility has been recognized across the federal government, by state and local organizations, and by other nations as well. A joint CFO Council meeting was held with members of Congress; the CFOs plan to meet with the agency Inspectors General in September.

Progress is being made in the designation of up to six pilot franchise funds authorized by the Government Management Reform Act. Also as authorized by the act, the federal financial community has proposed that agencies prepare an annual planning report each fall and an accountability report each spring to replace a plethora of financial reports throughout the year. This approach will ease agencies' reporting burden and provide information rather than just data.

A comprehensive debt collection initiative has been completed and enacting legislation introduced. Several energizing and coalescing conferences have been held on electronic commerce (EC) with contract and grant officials, and an EC Implementation Team is being designated by the CFO Council. Other targeted council priorities for the coming year include improving the state of federal financial management systems and integrating budget, program, and management information for better decisionmaking.

Reinventing Human Resource Management

NPR Recommendations


Create a Flexible and Responsive Hiring System


Reform the General Schedule Classification and Basic Pay System


Authorize Agencies to Develop Programs for Improvement of Individual and Organizational Performance


Authorize Agencies to Develop Incentive Award and Bonus Systems to Improve Individual and Organizational Performance


Strengthen Systems to Support Management in Dealing With Poor Performers


Clearly Define the Objective of Training as the Improvement of Individual and Organizational Performance; Make Training More Market-Driven


Enhance Programs to Provide Family-Friendly Workplaces


Improve Processes and Procedures Established to Provide Workplace Due Process for Employees


Improve Accountability for Equal Employment Opportunity Goals and Accomplishments


Improve Interagency Collaboration and Cross-Training of Human Resource Professionals


Strengthen the Senior Executive Service So That It Becomes a Key Element in the Governmentwide Culture Change Effort


Eliminate Excessive Red Tape and Automate Functions and Information


Form Labor-Management Partnerships for Success


Provide Incentives to Encourage Voluntary Separations

Progress to Date

The Administration has drafted a legislative proposal to reform the federal government's human resource management systems. Its provisions for reforming governmentwide hiring, performance management, and classification systems are largely drawn from recommendations in the NPR and National Partnership Council (NPC) reports; its provisions for redesigning the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), alternative personnel systems, and labor law reform support NPR human resource management objectives. The draft bill also contains career transition proposals to help agencies and employees cope with further downsizing of the workforce.

OPM managed the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, under which about 35,000 non-Department of Defense (DOD) employees accepted incentives to leave the government workforce voluntarily. This is in addition to 62,000 DOD employees who accepted separation incentives under previous legislation. Based upon its experience in helping DOD set up its separation incentive program in 1993, OPM provided other executive branch agencies with numerous resources to aid in their effective implementation of the legislation. These included best and worst practices from similar public and private sector efforts via newsletter, electronic bulletin board, and broadcast media.

Congress passed new laws and OPM issued regulations to implement family-friendly leave policies. Federal employees can now use sick leave to adopt a child, to serve as a bone-marrow or organ donor, and to care for family members or attend their funerals. The limitation on recrediting sick leave has been removed for former federal employees who return to government service. OPM also spearheaded a governmentwide leave-sharing effort related to the Oklahoma City bombing.

OPM issued final performance management regulations that provide agencies with additional flexibilities and eliminate burdensome requirements. OPM has proceeded to work on classification series consolidation, and requested public comment on proposals to consolidate approximately 450 General Schedule series to 74 and to merge or rename a number of occupational groups. The agency has made the federal personnel community a true partner in the development of personnel policy by involving the Interagency Advisory Group in several priority initiatives, including the development of a career transition business plan and the establishment of an interagency consortium to provide regularly scheduled satellite broadcasts on a broad range of human resource management issues.

OPM proposed abolishing regulations governing internal agency grievance and appeal procedures. It also issued executive core qualifications for the Senior Executive Service that simplify and strengthen the staffing process and emphasize key national and organizational priorities. OPM is sponsoring interagency working groups to identify indicators for measuring human resource management performance against merit principles, and to create a customer service survey as a new measure of human resource management performance.

Considerable progress has been made in establishing labor-management partnerships following the issuance of Executive Order 12871 in October 1993. As of July 1995, 50 percent of the bargaining units that responded to an NPC questionnaire had established partnership councils and 40 percent had partnership agreements. Partnerships are beginning to make qualitative differences in agency efficiency and worker satisfaction by addressing such issues as agency redesign and downsizing, productivity improvement, customer service, cost-savings measures, and employee working conditions.

Reinventing Federal Procurement

NPR Recommendations


Reframe Acquisition Policy


Build an Innovative Procurement Workforce


Encourage More Procurement Innovation


Establish New Simplified Acquisition Threshold and Procedures


Reform Labor Laws and Transform the Labor Department Into an Efficient Partner for Meeting Public Policy Goals


Amend Protest Rules


Enhance Programs for Small Business and Small Disadvantaged Business Concerns


Reform Information Technology Procurement


Lower Costs and Reduce Bureaucracy in Small Purchases Through the Use of Purchase Cards


Ensure Customer Focus in Procurement


Improve Procurement Ethics Laws


Allow for Expanded Choice and Cooperation in the Use of Supply Schedules


Foster Reliance on the Commercial Marketplace


Expand Electronic Commerce for Federal Acquisition


Encourage Best Value Procurement


Promote Excellence in Vendor Performance


Authorize a Two-Phase Competitive Source Selection Process


Authorize MultiYear Contracts


Conform Certain Statutory Requirements for Civilian Agencies to Those of Defense Agencies


Streamline Buying for the Environment

Progress to Date

The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 contains the most important of NPR's recommended statutory changes to reinvent the federal government's $180-billion-a-year procurement system. The legislation raised the simplified acquisition threshold to $100,000, exempting procurements below this threshold from numerous statutory requirements; strongly encouraged acquiring commercial items and exempted such procurements from various statutory requirements; and lessened restrictions for micropurchases (those under $2,500). The act provides that revisions to the regulations be published and take effect by October 1, 1995. Of the 25 rulemaking cases, several have been published; the other regulations are in various stages of review, evaluation, and final revision. The simplified acquisition threshold was published as an interim final rule in July 1995, enabling its provisions to be used prior to publication of the final rule. In addition, agency-specific regulations are being developed to implement the act's requirements.

Several bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress to address most of the other key NPR-recommended statutory changes not included in the 1994 legislation. Some of the priority recommendations being proposed include bid protest reform, particularly for information technology; increased competition through a two-phase procurement process; and simplified procedures to buy commercial items.

Several related initiatives are under way to streamline the procurement process to make it more effective and efficient, foster commercial practices, reduce bureaucracy, and seize the opportunities provided by advances in information technology. A final rule to incorporate a statement of guiding principles in the Federal Acquisition Regulation was published in July 1995. A Guide to Best Practices for Past Performance (interim edition, May 1995) was developed and issued by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). A project management office was established to implement expanded use of electronic commerce for government procurement and to develop the Federal Acquisition Computer Network (FACNET). FACNET will provide "a single face to industry" by creating a single standard-based electronic commerce capability for all federal agencies.

Use of the purchase card for micropurchases under $2,500-which constitute about 85 percent of the government's procurement transactions-has risen dramatically among many agencies, cutting administrative costs and expediting purchases. NPR estimated that $180 million could be saved annually if 50 percent of the government's small purchases were made with purchase cards. In FY 1994, purchase cards were used to make nearly 2.5 million purchases with a total value of $808 million. Through June of FY 1995, purchase cards have been used to make nearly 2.9 million purchases with a total value exceeding $1 billion. Usage has nearly doubled since 1993, and has translated to an administrative cost avoidance of more than $68.5 million. The General Services Administration (GSA) is developing an electronic training package for use with the purchase card that will be available throughout the government when fully implemented.

DOD, GSA, and other agencies are aggressively working to adopt the use of commercial specifications when ordering supplies if the items are available commercially. DOD and GSA are developing acquisition workforce education and training materials and opportunities to encourage innovation among the acquisition workforce. In addition, OFPP-in a joint partnership with NPR, GSA, DOD, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Council for Excellence in Government-has developed the Acquisition Reform Network. This on-line network provides both public and private sectors with access to federal acquisition information including a reference material toolkit, electronic conferencing forum, training packages, acquisition best practices, and acquisition opportunity links.

Reinventing Support Services

NPR Recommendations


Authorize the Executive Branch to Establish a Printing Policy That Will Eliminate the Current Printing Monopoly


Assure Public Access to Federal Information


Improve Distribution Systems to Reduce Costly Inventories


Streamline and Improve Contracting Strategies for the Multiple Award Schedule Program


Expand Agency Authority and Eliminate Congressional Control Over Federal Vehicle Fleet Management


Give Agencies Authority and Incentive for Personal PropertyManagement Disposal


Simplify Travel and Increase Competition


Property Asset Management


Simplify Procedures for Acquiring Small Blocks of Space to House Federal Agencies


Establish New Contracting Procedures for the Continued Occupancy of Leased Office Space


Reduce Postage Costs Through Improved Mail Management

Progress to Date

Efforts to reform government printing continue, and some progress is being made. Both houses of Congress this year have proposed legislation to address the NPR-recommended statutory changes and to streamline the process by transferring some functions away from the Government Printing Office (GPO) and eliminating others. Other efforts reflect the need for additional printing reform. For example, the legislative branch has proposed a study on the future of the Depository Library System. Also, GPO has begun an initiative to promote its reinvention, a strategic plan to streamline the agency and develop a new partnership between it and the executive branch agencies.

GSA continues to make significant progress in streamlining the distribution of federal supplies to reduce costly inventories. Efforts include direct vendor delivery, use of electronic data interchange to simplify ordering in near real-time, and development of the GSA ADVANTAGE information system for Federal Supply Service catalog ordering. In addition, regulatory changes have been made to eliminate mandatory use of supply schedules in awarding contracts, to eliminate announcement requirements for information technology acquisitions from supply schedules, and to raise information technology order limits to $500,000 for supply schedules. GSA is pilot testing the use of electronic bulletin board ordering for the Multiple Award Schedule program. It has revised the federal property management regulation to authorize agencies to dispose of their excess personal property.

For travel and relocation NPR recommendations, teams under the purview of the Chief Financial Officers Council are developing recommendations and a legislative package. GSA will submit this package to Congress and implement the regulatory changes. The agency is also pilot testing an airfare tender system and has modified related contract award criteria to emphasize service over price. GSA has published regulatory changes requiring agencies to minimize mail processing steps, increase use of automation, and streamline operations. An interagency mail management committee to lead cooperative initiatives will be in place by the end of the year.

Pending legislation would require GSA to submit a public buildings plan to Congress including a strategic asset management plan, submit a building site selection impact statement, establish a central repository for asset management information, and submit a report on the basic characteristics of court accommodations. The legislation would also require agencies to address long-term government housing needs and establish a moratorium on construction of public buildings. GSA is making progress on other NPR recommendations for real property through separate pilot projects to give agencies greater authority in choosing their sources of real property services, develop simplified procedures for small amounts of leased space, and simplify procedures for renewing leases. GSA has created real property customer-oriented centers of expertise and has implemented an asset management information system to provide real property alternatives information to agencies.

Reengineering Through

Information Technology

NPR Recommendations


Provide Clear, Strong Leadership to Integrate Information Technology Into the Business of Government


Implement Nationwide, Integrated Electronic Benefit Transfer


Develop Integrated Electronic Access to Government Information and Services


Establish a National Law Enforcement/Public Safety Network


Provide Intergovernmental Tax Filing, Reporting, and Payments Processing


Create a National Environmental Data Index


Create a National Environmental Data Index


Plan, Demonstrate, and Provide Governmentwide Electronic Mail


Improve Government's Information Infrastructure


Create a National Environmental Data Index
Develop Systems and Mechanisms to Ensure Privacy and Security


Improve Methods of Information Technology Acquisition


Provide Incentives for Innovation


Provide Training and Technical Assistance in Information Technology to Federal Employees

Progress to Date

Interagency teams are, under the auspices of the Government Information Technology Services Working Group, putting in place various aspects of electronic government, and the implementation of NPR recommendations is proceeding as planned. Substantial progress has been made on all recommendations. For example, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Task Force in 1994 released its plans for distributing an estimated $111 billion in federal benefits electronically by 1999, and has partnered with several alliances of states to pilot integrated EBT. Also, in April 1995, the Customer Service Improvement Team published its plan for developing a nationwide kiosk network that will provide government services electronically to the public. The Postal Service is leading interagency efforts to pilot electronic government services based on life events such as moving or family status changes.

On June 12, 1995, at the White House Conference for Small Business, the President and Vice President announced a new way for business to work with government-the U.S. Business Advisor, an on-line service on the Internet. The U.S. Business Advisor will offer businesses a "one-stop" electronic link to all the information and services government provides. The President has formed a task force to recommend the final design, content, and services for the U.S. Business Advisor by December 15, 1995.

The Federal Law Enforcement Wireless Users Group is developing pilot projects demonstrating federal, state, and local government use of a national wireless law enforcement and public safety network. Another interagency team is piloting projects that will test integrated filing of government tax reports and payments, eliminating the need for filing duplicative reports with different agencies. The Customs Service has taken the lead in implementing an International Trade Data System that collects, consolidates, and makes available international trade data and information from across federal agencies. The first pilot project of a National Environmental Data Index consolidating environmental information from across federal agencies was successfully completed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in May 1995.

GSA has incorporated the Information Technology Schedule into the Federal Supply Service, allowing end users to order, in one stop, everything from pencils to computers. To expedite these procurements, GSA has delegated operating authority to agencies for procurements of up to $100 million. Also, GSA formed the Information Technology Resources Board, comprising experienced information technology managers from 18 agencies; the board will be consulted on reviews of planned initiatives.

Rethinking Program Design

NPR Recommendations


Activate Program Design as a Formal Discipline


Establish Pilot Program Design Capabilities in One or Two Agencies


Encourage the Strengthening of Program Design in the Legislative Branch


Commission Program Design Courses

Progress to Date

While these specific recommendations have not been implemented, the principles involved provided the framework for the implementation of the recent agency reviews that were undertaken by the Vice President at the President's direction.

Strengthening the Partnership in Intergovernmental Service Delivery

NPR Recommendations


Improve the Delivery of Federal Domestic Grant Programs


Reduce Red Tape Through Regulatory and Mandate Relief


Simplify Reimbursement Procedures for Administrative Costs of Federal Grant Disbursement


Eliminate Needless Paperwork by Simplifying the Compliance Certification Process


Simplify Administration by Modifying the Common Grant Rules on Small Purchases


Strengthen the Intergovernmental Partnership

Progress to Date

To restrict unfunded mandates by federal agencies, the President signed two executive orders: "Regulatory Planning Review" (EO 12866, signed September 30, 1993) and "Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership" (EO 12875, signed October 26, 1993). These orders prevent agencies from issuing any new, non-statutory unfunded regulations without strong justification. To combat statutory unfunded mandates, Congress passed the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-4, signed by the President March 22, 1995). This law restricts Congress from imposing new mandates on state and local governments without providing funds.

In April 1995, OMB published a revised Circular A-87, to encourage federal agencies to test fee-for-service procedures for cost reimbursement to states and localities. A fee-for-service alternative would be simpler and encourage cost containment. OMB has also taken steps to eliminate needless paperwork, particularly in the representations and certifications process, as well as revise the common rules for small purchases by local governments by increasing the dollar threshold from $25,000 to $100,000.

The Administration introduced many endeavors to strengthen the intergovernmental partnership. The President's interagency Community Empowerment Board oversees a process whereby member agencies may grant waivers. Nine empowerment zones and 95 empowerment communities were designated in December 1994; each of these entities is provided with additional flexibility and funding to implement their community-developed, comprehensive, strategic plans.

To be more responsive to locally perceived needs and bottom-up planning strategies, the categorical federal grant process is being radically reformed into a system of performance partnerships. In the FY 1996 budget, President Clinton proposed six performance partnerships that would consolidate about 200 existing programs. These performance partnerships require congressional action. The consolidated plan exemplifies the replacement of a program-oriented mentality with a comprehensive approach to problem-solving.

NPR has facilitated the Oregon Option, a partnership with the state of Oregon based on results. The program focuses on bringing together community, local, state, and federal agencies to agree on desired results, how to accomplish them, how to measure them, and how to break down barriers to achieving them. Oregon now leads the West in not only moving people off welfare but in placing them in productive jobs as well. The Administration granted waivers to the state so it could operate JOBS PLUS, a unique public-private partnership designed to move even more welfare recipients into the workforce.

Four areas-metro Atlanta, metro Denver, the District of Columbia, and the state of Nebraska-have joined with the federal government in uniting their intergovernmental agencies to reduce crime and violence in a project called Pulling America's Communities Together (PACT). Through Project PACT, the federal government is vigorously fostering and supporting the development of broad-based, fully coordinated local and statewide initiatives that work strategically to secure community safety.

Reinventing Environmental Management

NPR Recommendations


Improve Federal Decisionmaking Through Environmental Cost Accounting


Develop Cross-Agency Ecosystem Planning and Management


Increase Energy and Water Efficiency


Increase Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Landscaping

Progress to Date

Cross-agency ecosystem management teams were formed to conduct management and budget reviews of federal programs affecting four ecosystems: South Florida, Anacostia River Watershed, Prince William Sound, and Pacific Northwest Forests. In addition, the President signed a directive requiring federal agencies to increase energy and water efficiency.

In July 1995, an interagency workgroup published guidance in the Federal Register to implement President Clinton's April 26, 1994, Executive Memorandum on Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Landscape Practices on Federal Landscaped Grounds. An interagency working group on environmental cost analysis has begun work and will report back to the Council on Environmental Quality in 1996.

Improving Regulatory Systems

NPR Recommendations


Create an Interagency Regulatory Coordinating Group


Encourage More Innovative Approaches to Regulation


Encourage Consensus-Based Rulemaking


Enhance Public Awareness and Participation


Streamline Agency Rulemaking Procedures


Encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution When Enforcing Regulations


Rank Risks and Engage in "Anticipatory" Regulatory Planning


Improve Regulatory Science


Improve Agency and Congressional Relationships


Provide Better Training and Incentives for Regulators

Progress to Date

In September 1993, the President signed Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, which articulated the Administration's regulatory principles and created an interagency Regulatory Working Group. This group has implemented many of NPR's regulatory recommendations: it has met frequently and serves as a forum to help agencies implement various provisions of the order, including those that encourage innovative approaches to regulation. The Regulatory Working Group is developing guidelines on agency use of risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis. It has also helped lead ongoing regulatory reinvention efforts (see appendix D).

Agency reliance on electronic communication and information retrieval has increased significantly. With the assistance of the Administrative Conference of the United States, agencies have begun to use direct final rulemaking for noncontroversial rulemaking. The President has issued several directives encouraging agencies to use negotiated rulemaking ("reg-neg") where feasible. He also announced that limits on the creation of new advisory committees will not apply to reg-neg committees. Training materials have been disseminated, and in response, numerous new reg-negs have been undertaken.

Federal agency use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques is increasing dramatically. The Attorney General announced a new Department of Justice initiative to increase the department's reliance on and support of ADR. The Administrative Conference reported that agencies saved more than $20 million by using ADR in the past year. Additionally, several agencies have established ombudsman offices to handle citizen complaints.

Major legislative initiatives supported by this Administration have been enacted, including the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The latter includes a small but important amendment to the Federal Advisory Committee Act that makes it easier for federal officials to meet with state, local, and tribal officials.

Work remains to be done on the recommendations to create additional science advisory boards and to establish a training program for newly appointed federal regulatory officials.

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