This document was downloaded and archived from on May 31, 2001.

 What is a Waiver?

Waivers are delegations of authority to deviate from existing internal
agency policies and procedures and are often sought by front-line
employees who are trying to make their operations work better, cost
less, and get results that Americans care about. Such measures are
emphasized in the NPR's Blair House Papers report. Waivers delegate
more power to front-line employees and unlock the enormous potential
of the Federal workforce. 

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We need to do more to free up front-line workers from the
burdensome rules and regulations that tie their hands now,
and stop the flow of their ideas. And that's why today, I am
pleased to announce that President Clinton has just signed a
memorandum to the heads of our executive departments and
agencies to take a very important further action to increase
the use of waivers to expedite innovation and improve
customer service... With this action to streamline waivers, we
will open up the flood gates of reinvention all over the federal
government. We cannot rest in our drive to give the American
people a government that works better and costs less, and
provides Americans with better service.

Vice President Al Gore, April 21, 1998
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On February 18, 2000, Secretary Dan Glickman signed Secretary's
Memorandum 2570-1. The Secretary is committed to ensuring that
this ongoing effort reaches its full potenital within USDA through the
establishment of a Department-wide standard waiver process that
encourages innovation, is "user friendly," and provides a quick route
to cutting red tape and ensuring better, faster service to the public.

The Deputy Secretary will act on the Secretary's behalf in making
decisions on waivers affecting more than one USDA agency or
Departmental office and in cases where agencies or Departmental
offices cannot resolve a decision internally. Robert Whiting, Deputy
Director, Office of Human Resources Management, will serve as the
USDA Waiver Coordinator. Each Mission Area will have at least one
Waiver Point of Contact. (Visit the USDA Waiver Points of Contacts

The waiver request process should take no more than 30 days from
initiation to final decision posting. In keeping with the idea of
reinventing Government and simplifying processes, the waiver
request process is designed to be as streamlined as possible while
also affording adequate reviews. To promote and support a
streamlined waiver request process, the medium for initiating and
acting on waiver requests will be electronic mail. In addition, the
standard waiver request document, as well as pending and finalized
requests, will be posted, consistent with the Privacy Act, to the USDA
website for maximum visibility throughout the Deparlment. Approved
waivers will become effective on the date of their posting to the USDA

The USDANEWS, dated April-May 2000, features an article by Ron
Hall, Office of Communications, entitled "You Don't Like That USDA
Rule? Maybe You Can Waive It. Plus, A 30-Day Streamlined Process. "

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