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Governing in a Balanced Budget World

Vice President Al Gore

March 4, 1996

During the last three years, the Clinton-Gore Administration has taken significant steps towards the creation of a government that not only is smaller, but is more effective in meeting the needs of the American people. A balanced budget environment provides an opportunity to build on the reinvention successes of the last three years. The Vice President has laid the groundwork for bringing the federal government into this new era.

Today Gore announced a series of initiatives to continue reinventing the federal government . These initiatives will provide significant benefits to Americans in either improved service or reduced costs.

1. CREATE PERFORMANCE-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

Separate service operations from policy and place them in separate organizations reporting to the agency or department head.

Negotiate a 3-5 year framework document between the Performance-Based Organizations and the departmental secretary that sets out explicit goals, measures, relationships, flexibilities and limitations for the organization. These organizations will be able to negotiate alternative approaches for procurement, civil service rules, etc. , tied to an increased accountability for results, the use of unit cost accounting principles and achieving specific budgetary savings.

Create the position of Chief Executive to head the service operation functions. He/she would be hired on contract through a competitive search, for a fixed term, such as 5-6 years, with a clear agreement on services to be delivered and savings to be achieved. A significant portion of the Chief Executives pay would be contingent on performance.

Candidates which very likely will be included in the FY 1997 budget as Performance-Based Organizations are: (1) The Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; (2) the Technical Information Dissemination (National Technical Information Service) and Intellectual Property Rights (Patent and Trademark Office) of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce; (3) the Defense Commissary Agency of the Dept. of Defense; (4) the Minerals Royalty Collection Services (Minerals Management Service) of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior; (5) the Mortgage Insurance Services (Federal Housing Administration and Government Mortgage Guarantee Agency) of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; (6) the Retirement and Benefit Management Services (Federal Retirement and Insurance Service) of the Office of Personnel Management; and (6) the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

2. IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE DRAMATICALLY

Establishment of the Presidents Vanguard -- the eleven agencies which have the most frequent or widespread contact with the public (OSHA, IRS, EPA, Forest Service/Park Service, U.S. Customs Service/Immigration and Naturalization Service/Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Service, Veterans Affairs, Passport Service and Social Security Administration)..

The Vanguard agencies will make significantly visible improvements in some specific aspect of their customer service in the coming months so every American will see a positive difference.

3. INCREASE THE USE OF REGULATORY PARTNERSHIPS

Improve enforcement by combining the resources and talents of both government and business to achieve goals, allowing the regulatory agency to focus its energy and resources on remaining problem areas rather than imposing unnecessary burdens in areas where goals are being met.

Stop direct government intervention in federal regulatory policy and substitute partnerships with the private sector, focusing on outcomes -- not how they are achieved.

Provide a more flexible, results-oriented relationship with business, defined by the partners.

Businesses that want to become partners would have to demonstrate that they are achieving the goals of the partnership.

4. CREATE PERFORMANCE-BASED GRANT PARTNERSHIPS:

Create agreements between the federal government and another level of government which is based on goals and progress toward meeting those goals rather than on regulatory inputs and micromanagement.

Focus on program results and the needs of the programs intended recipients.

Increase flexibility at all levels to achieve more effective performance towards results.

Give localities the opportunity to design and implement solutions tailored to the specific needs of the local community.

5. ESTABLISH SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT FOR COMMUNITIES

Completely restructure the way the federal government does business with our nations larger communities.

Provide large cities with an empowered, single federal point of contact, trained to trouble-shoot, to respond to community complaints, to help communities identify and overcome federal and other impediments to achieving local priorities and results and help communities navigate through the maze of federal programs and processes.

6. TRANSFORM THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE:

Give all departments and agencies authority to conduct their own recruiting and examining for all positions and abolish all central registers and standard application forms.

Focus on training as an investment. As in the private sector, the ability of organizations to change successfully in an extremely dynamic environment is directly linked to the tools with which it has equipped its workforce.

Give senior executives more tools to manage change and make them accountable for achieving results. Navigation Bar For NPR site Back To The NPR Main Page Search the NPR Site NPR Initiatives Links to Other Reinvention Web Sites Reinvention Tools Frequently Asked Questions NPR Speeches NPR News Releases