Performance Partnerships

We agree, Jono. Based on the success of the Oregon Option, President Clinton has asked Congress to combine 271 separate grants and programs, which now have lots of strings attached, into 27 performance partnerships that are focused on results, just like Oregon's benchmarks. Each of the President's performance partnership grants would consolidate funding streams, eliminate overlapping authorities, create financial incentives to reward results, and reduce micromanagement and wasteful paperwork. So far, Congress has approved performance partnerships for rural development and the environment. The recently enacted Farm Bill created three new rural development performance partnerships in which a large number programs -- for rural utilities, economic development, and housing -- will be administered together flexibly, with input on local needs from state and local officials, and focused on results. (8)

We are eager for Congress to complete its work in other areas where the President has proposed performance partnerships, and we and the states are ready to move as soon as Congress does. The Department of Health and Human Services, for example, has met with over 1,000 folks around the country -- from states, localities, and consumer groups -- to identify the public health results we all want and how best to measure progress. We also have partnerships with states and cities everywhere we could think of, in every way the current laws allow.

President Clinton has established a Community Empowerment Board of the major federal domestic agencies to support community-driven economic revitalization. The board helps break down the bureaucratic walls that sometimes keep agencies from responding effectively to state and local partners. The President has directed agencies to eliminate unnecessary regulatory and legal impediments. We are moving control and responsibility back to the people -- providing top-down support for bottom-up reform.

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