National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)


June 26, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 9

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


* Congress on Results Act Implementation

* Federal Advisory Committee Data Are Online

* Fort Riley Has Innovative Educational Partnerships

* President Calls for More Improvements in Financial Management

Congress Says Transportation Has Best Strategic and Performance Plans; Seven Other Agencies Do Well on Results Act Implementation
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the chairmen of 17 House Committees recently commended the hard work that agencies have put into implementing the Government Performance and Results Act during the past year.

"We are aware that many dedicated federal employees are deeply committed to the principles of the Results Act and are determined to see the Act succeed," they wrote in a letter to Jacob J. Lew, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget dated June 9. The letter gave overall observations and recommendations on how to move forward following Congress's evaluation of the first ever performance plans that agencies submitted in February.

Congressional evaluators determined that performance data are not yet reliable or useful enough to "support federal decision making and day-to-day agency management." However, the letter expressed confidence that the Results Act will succeed if Congress and the Executive branch work together.

The letter singled out the Transportation Department and the personal involvement of both Secretary Slater and Deputy Secretary Downey. "Transportation produced the best strategic plan and the best performance plan of all the agencies we evaluated."

An accompanying report named seven other agencies that did well in meeting one or more of the evaluation criteria. These agencies are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Administration for Children and Families, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, National Weather Service, Customs Service, and the Veterans Health Administration. Most of these agencies are high impact agencies, that is, agencies that touch the most Americans. (Visit

Speaker Gingrich and the committee chairmen also noted the interest of Vice President Gore in the Results Act, and the clear connection between the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Act. "The NPR has taken the important first step of focusing on improved 'customer service' by 'impact agencies,'" they wrote.

The full letter is online at

Federal Advisory Committee Data Are Online;
New Website Will Help Improve Public/Private Collaboration

Detailed, up-to-date information on the federal government's 1,000 advisory committees is now quickly and easily available on an interactive website, Committee Management Town Hall (, the General Services Administration announced this week.

Advisory committees are made up of citizens from every walk of life who provide expert advice to the government on such topics as food and drug safety, economic and trade policy, and the national defense. Citizen-advisors have played crucial roles in shaping American policy since the earliest days of the Nation.

With the new website, government officials responsible for managing and reporting on advisory committees are able to file their reports online. "This will allow us to make the information available to the President, the Congress, and public a lot faster," said James L. Dean, director of the GSA Committee Management Secretariat. Site designers were able to meet the challenge of providing secure access to 4,000 people in 60 agencies nationwide using many different Internet browsers and versions.

Anyone who wants to learn more about how the government makes decisions will also benefit from the site, according to G. Martin Wagner, GSA's Associate Administrator for Governmentwide Policy. "Shared systems which provide desktop access to information and other tools needed to accomplish work faster and monitor results better are critical to the government's efforts to reinvent itself."

The "Town Hall" features links to a number of search engines, including two "cream skimmers" that select the top hits from a variety of search engine databases. There are also links to relevant sites, including the Federal Register, the Library of Congress, and the US Congress' Thomas Jefferson site, which permits the user to search for any bill in Congress. The site also permits access to GSA's Regulations affecting advisory committees, recent amendments to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and summaries of judicial decisions.

For more information, call Michael Neff at (202) 273-3564.

Fort Riley's Innovative Programs and Partnerships Brings Educational
Opportunities to Military Families and Saves More Than a Million Dollars Every Year

Fort Riley's Leadership Skills Enhancement Program is an innovative partnership with Barton County Community College in Kansas. The program offers college classes in leadership development to the soldier and the total military family. The classes, free to the student and to the government, save an estimated $615,000 annually. Another free program aimed at soldiers with academic deficiencies saves more than a $100,000 a year. We won't mention all the programs or add all the dollars, but if you want more information on Fort Riley's educational success story, call Gordon Farmer at (785) 239-6481.

Fort Riley Also Helps Educate Kids
Fort Riley isn't just on the receiving end of partnerships. Also ask Gordon Farmer about Fort Riley's KIDS 2000 mentoring partnership. More than 400 soldiers and civilians volunteer as mentors and tutors for at-risk children in the Geary County School System. These volunteers work with students to increase graduation rates and make students aware of job opportunities. Parents are in the partnership, too.

President Signs Calls for More Improvements in Financial Management
On May 26, President Clinton signed a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies requiring more improvements in government accounting systems and practices. The memo targeted key areas including property, credit programs, and transactions between federal agencies.

In response to an NPR recommendation in 1993, the government now has accounting standards. These standards were the basis for the first ever government-wide financial statement of the government, issued on March 31. The FY 1999 budget calls for an "unqualified audit opinion"-the highest opinion available from auditors-on the government's FY 1999 financial statements. The memo directs the Office of Management and Budget to identify and monitor the progress of those agencies that need help in meeting this commitment. Initial agency plans are due to OMB by July 31 this year. The memo is posted at

National Partnership for Reinventing Government, 750-17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20006. Back issues of the Express are at To subscribe by e-mail, send a message to Put this message: SUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (no period). Send reinvention stories to Pat Wood, (202) 694-0063, or fax (202) 362-0390.

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