"Forever Changing Government" – Future Directions
In late 1998, we crafted a two-year strategy designed to forever change government operations. By January 1,
2001, we will put in place five sets of actions that will become self-sustaining and change the way Americans
experience their government.
Achieve Outcomes No One Agency Can Achieve Alone. People and organizations will collaborate enthusiastically
across organizational boundaries to produce amazing results and transfer power to communities and citizens by
providing them real-time information.
Some of the things that matter most to Americans are results that are beyond the power of any single government
agency. Significant improvements in the cleanliness of the nation's water, the safety of our food, or the
well-being of our children depend upon a broader effort, often rooted in communities and supported by a variety
of local, state and federal agencies as well as the private sector. We are working with agencies to create
"seamless service delivery" based on shared accountability for key outcomes. Key initiatives include:
- Reducing food-borne illnesses by 25 percent. President Clinton administratively created a Food Safety
Council of the eight agencies with jurisdiction over the safety of Americans' food supply and directed
them to prepare a unified budget and common goals.
- Ensuring at least 88 percent of Americans have access to clean water. An interagency committee with
representatives from a number of agencies are working together to craft a common set of measures and
strategies to significantly improve the quality of water in our country.
- Reducing crime by an additional 12 percent. Using new technologies and working collaboratively, the
Justice Department will work with state and local police to put in place new techniques that will
dramatically improve crime fighting.
- Improving child well-being. While there are no outcome goals yet set in this arena, this Administration
is creating a set of statistical indicators and will work to achieve performance targets in ten communities
to substantially improve child well-being.
- Creating an integrated national training, education, and employment system. Partner with states and
localities to expand the network of One-Stop Job Centers from 800 to 2,000. Ensure the centers integrate
service delivery and have a customer satisfaction rating of at least 80 percent.
- Expanding the designation of "Hassle Free Communities." In 1998, we designated three communities
(Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Seattle) as "hassle free" pilot projects and is working with
another four communities. Together, they are developing new ways to deliver public services customers
want – when, where, and how they want them – based on federal, state, and local partnerships. The focus is
to increase customer and government employee satisfaction to more than 90 percent and increase citizen trust
in government by 20 percent over the 1998 baseline. The planned expansion to 50 cities by January 2001 will
benefit more than 120 million Americans.
Agencies Use a Balanced Set of Measures. Agency management – from the head to the front line supervisors –
will daily use a balanced set of measures to drive operations.
In 1998, we co-sponsored with the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies a governmentwide survey
of federal employees to better understand the extent of changes resulting from reinvention initiatives over
the previous six years. The results showed a dramatic increase in employee understanding of the desired
business results of their agency and their own roles in improving customer service. However, employees said
there was insufficient attention on dealing with poor performers and labor-management relations. Vice
President Gore has charged agency leaders with taking action on the results of this survey and has committed
to repeating the survey in the coming year to assess progress.
In addition, we will work with agencies to create a balanced set of measures for assessing agency performance
that include business results, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. We will soon complete a study
of best practices in private companies and in agencies that are pioneering the use of balanced measures, such
as the Veterans Benefits Administration, the IRS, National Security Agency, and Postal Service. If appropriate,
we will propose the President direct all agencies to create and use balanced measures. This would include not
only additional employee surveys, but also surveys of customers and an expansion of the President's
"Conversations with America" directive, which requires agencies to reach out to their customers and use what
they learn to fine tune their operations.
Create an Electronic Government. Government will be transformed like "amazon.com" transformed bookselling.
Initiatives begun in early 1997 are designed to allow anyone who wants to transact business with the government
electronically to do so. By the end of FY 2000, nearly 40 million Americans will. Emerging forms of information
technology will be vital tools in changing Americans' experience with their government. They will be able to access
information to solve problems themselves through the Internet, via telephones, and through neighborhood kiosks.
In early 1999, Vice President Gore launched "Access America for Students." This initiative is piloting the integrated
delivery of a suite of services in 5-10 colleges, to be expanded over the course of this year and in 2000. Services
targeted for these pilots include electronic income tax filing, student loan eligibility, student loan applications
and renewals, online address changes, national park reservations, veterans' educational benefits, campus admissions
and services, and local merchant purchasing. Technology components will be digital identification/signature, secure
electronic payments, and encrypted forms processing. For the first time, people will be able to complete paperless
non-financial transactions with the federal government using the Internet.
The Access America initiative is based on the concept that the customer – not the government – should control access
to personal information. Using security technologies and privacy policies will provide a way for Americans to
control access to information and get the services they need. The initiative will initially target to specific
user or customer groups. By January 2001, this approach will be expanded beyond college students to seniors,
businesses, and government employees.
In addition, the Government Information Technology Services Board, which spearheads the Access America initiatives,
is promoting electronic access to a wide array of services. Its 60 on-going initiatives and task forces include:
Additional information on Access America progress is available at