National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)


EXPRESS April 3, 1996 Vol. 2, No. 10

An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On

Cutting Internal Red Tape for Federal Workers

Federal employees are doing a remarkable job in improving service and cutting red tape for the public, but how much progress can agencies show in cutting the internal red tape that frustrates and hampers federal workers? Until now, only a little. However, we've had some recent breakthroughs that promise to reduce much of the hassle in time keeping, procurement, and other areas. Here are the stories.

Time and Attendance: Its Days Are Numbered

Vice President Gore told more than 600 participants at the reinvention conference in Bethesda, MD, on March 25 that the General Accounting Office has released new policy guidelines on time and attendance. The guidelines permit agencies to get rid of sign-in sheets and other time and attendance paperwork.

The Vice President said the requirement that federal workers sign in is a "waste and indignity. No excuses anymore. It's time to change."

What Went Before
The Vice President's initial recommendations to the President in September 1993 called for eliminating labor intensive time sheets and time cards and using technology to enter payroll data on an exception basis (that is, only reporting the hours you don't work).

A 1995 NPR survey on time and attendance in 26 federal organizations showed considerable confusion in interpreting governmentwide policies, a profusion of approaches, and many requirements embedded in union contracts that will have to be renegotiated. The survey was conducted under the auspices of the Chief Financial Officers Council.

Policy Giver Is Also the Model
GAO is practicing the Vice President's vision for handling time and attendance. GAO does not require its employees to sign in and out on a daily basis. GAO trusts its employees to complete their scheduled number of hours before leaving at the end of the day. If an employee deviates one hour or more, he/she gets the supervisor's verbal approval. The new guidelines will permit agencies to establish systems based on this model. Why not celebrate this news on Professional Secretaries Day, April 24? The guidelines are on the NPR homepage ( Go to the News Room. For a copy of the guidelines, call (202) 512-6000. For information, call Barry Grinnell at (202) 512-9530.

New Laws Will Reduce the Hassle in Government Buying

Your agency no longer has to jump through bureaucratic hoops and wait for months before it buys a new computer. The Brooks Act, which forced agencies that were buying information technology to adhere to special rules and obtain approval from the General Services Administration, has been repealed.

That is just one of the several procurement reforms enacted as part of the Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) and Information Technology Management Reform Act, which the President signed into law on February 10. These new laws also mean you will be able to:

- Reduce the number of suppliers you have to negotiate with after you get initial proposals.
- Simplify your agency's procedures for buying commercial items up to $5 million (up from $100,000 under previous law).
- Evaluate your agency's IT investment programs against criteria modeled on the best practices of successful companies.

The new laws also require agencies to first make the way they work as efficient as possible, then to automate that efficient process, and finally, to measure the improvement.

Earlier Law Reformed Smaller Dollar Procurement
These laws continue the push for governmentwide procurement reform that began with the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA). That law reinvented smaller dollar purchases; the latest laws focus on bigger dollars. Now government can get good market prices and the latest technology--just like industry. Simplifying procurement was one of the NPR's major recommendations in 1993. For more information, call the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at (202) 395-6803.

Keep Reading. There's More

Congress has passed other laws recently that implement NPR recommendations :

- Effective January 1, 1997, President Clinton will have authority to veto line items in appropriations bills.
- The Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995, signed by the President on December 21, 1995, repeals Congressionally-mandated reporting by federal agencies.

Here's a Free Transforming Government Conference

The Consortium for Cultural Change will sponsor a free all-day conference for government reinventors on May 28 at the NIH Natcher Center in Bethesda, MD. Topics include the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and strategic planning, reengineering business processes, and performance metrics. Attendance is limited to 250, so you must preregister. But there's no free lunch: You'll buy your lunch in the cafeteria and pay $8.50 for the breaks and reception. Information and registration form are below. For more information, call Dr. Lynn S. Kahn at (202) 358-5259.

For more information, contact Pat Wood, National Performance Review, 750-17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 632-0223; FAX: (202) 632-0390; email: The Express is on the Internet at To subscribe, send an e-mail message to with this message: SUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. (Put three spaces: after the word "SUBSCRIBE," after "EXPRESS-L," and after your FIRSTNAME.)

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Consortium for Culture Change


May 28, 1996, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Natcher Conference Center, NIH


Create a Transformational Road Map
Learn About Best Practices
Network with Colleagues


Focus: How We Do It, Lessons Learned

Keynoters: Transforming Personnel Systems
Reengineering Business Processes

Break Outs:

GPRA and Strategic Planning
Performance Metrics Workshop
Large Group Technologies
New Wave of Leadership Development
And more!!

Transformational Road Map

REGISTRATION: Attendance Limited to 250, Please preregister by FAXing the registration form below. If you are registered and can't attend, please let us know ASAP.

Place: NIH Natcher Conference Center, 45 Center Drive, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

Costs: No Conference Fee. $8.50 charge for breaks and reception. Make checks payable to "GSI" at the registration table. Lunch in the Natcher Center Cafeteria - $4 to $6.

Directions: Use the Metro! Board the Red Line and exit at Medical Center Station. Upon exiting the station at the ground level, take the steps/ramp to your left. You can see the Natcher Building located up the step/ramp, diagonally left of Metro. Follow the walkway to the entrance of the Natcher Conference Center Atrium. Because parking at the Natcher is extremely limited, use of the Metro is highly recommended. If you must park, look for visitor parking next to building 41-A.

Please share this announcement with colleagues.

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Consortium for Culture Change

Fax the following to Steve Butterfield, NPR, (202) 632-0390
Questions: Lynn S. Kahn, (202) 358-5259

May 28, 1996 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
NIH Natcher Conference Center
NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD

Attendance is limited to 250. If you register and can't attend, please let us know ASAP.

Check your three (non-binding) choices for breakouts:

GPRA and Strategic Planning

Performance Metrics Workshops (how tos)

Large Group Technologies

Sustaining Complex Change

New Wave of Leadership Development

Training Teams for Empowerment

Linking CCC with SES Change Leaders

Customer Service Satisfaction Surveys

Using Culture Baseline Surveys

More Reengineering Case Studies

My suggestion:






I am willing to help the logistics team with registration or other tasks during the conference.
YES_____ NO_____

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