Oregon's New Experiment

No state has moved further to try creative approaches to intergovernmental services, and to evaluating its programs based on results, than Oregon.

Taking NPR's words to heart, it is now seeking to experiment with the state and local flexibility that NPR advocated. "Oregon and its local governments propose a special partnership and long-range demonstration project with the federal government to redesign intergovernmental service delivery," the state wrote in The Oregon Option, a proposal it discussed with federal officials in July.

Under it, the federal government would work with the state and its local governments to reach agreement on outcomes that Oregon would pursue. In exchange, the federal government would merge funding categories and reduce its micromanagement, allowing the state and local governments to pursue outcomes and be held accountable for them. Specifically, state officials recommended that the demonstration project focus on Oregon's top priority--its human investment goals.

The Administration has created a federal interagency action team to work with state and local officials and others in Oregon to determine which outcomes to focus on and how to achieve them.

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