On the Export-Import Bank's delegated authority program:
"The advantage of this program is that we can approve loans directly, without prior authorization from Washington. That means we can serve our customers promptly and take a limited risk where we feel it will pay off. We've used delegated authority to finance some $135 million in working capital loans, which has created over $1 billion in exports - and many U.S. jobs."
On Social Security's customer service:
"I was very impressed by Social Security's strong commitment to making great customer service fundamental to how government does business."
On government's telecommunications savings:
"The government is using its buying power and has stepped back from requiring unique features, which lets us do what we do best - deliver commercial service."
On the Defense Department's re-engineered travel system:
"DOD's travel reengineering has encouraged the integration of commercial products, which has required industry to partner in new and unique ways."
On USDA's home mortgage operation:
"USDA asked if they could send a team to learn how we service mortgages. We liked the idea. They sent four USDA accountants to Citicorp for three months, where they helped to low-chart our organization. It was a win-win situation. We received the flow charts, and they learned a lot about how to manage volume."
On the Department of Energy's Sandia Lab:
"Sandia's computer can model all kinds of conditions for nuclear weapons - rain, heat, freezing, collisions, and so on. These same things happen to tires. In fact, modeling tire performance is one of the most challenging problems in computational physics. We got together, and Sandia found us tough enough to be interesting."
On how the FDA has changed:
"We used to have a very adversarial relationship on both sides, because we didn't have common objectives. FDA thought the industry was out to rip off the public and didn't really care about quality. And industry viewed the government as being against innovation. Now, they let companies know when they're scheduled for routine inspections. And they used to keep everything a secret from us until the end of the inspection. Now, during the inspection, they let companies know what they think we are doing wrong. That gives us a chance to correct any misperceptions they might have and to fix some of the real problems on the spot."
"In the past, there was an adversarial relationship between the FDA and the manufacturers - not
much in the way of trust in either direction. But there has been a 180-degree cultural shift in
FDA. It can't be judged as anything less."
"The old FDA would never tell you in advance how to structure your testing or what data they
wanted. They'd only tell you afterwards that what you had done wasn't good enough. Now we
are talking with them way up front. That way, we can do the tests right the first time. You just
get tired of hearing people say negative things about government all the time. It's not like we've
had just one good experience. We've been working smoothly together for nearly three years
On OSHA's workplace safety advice on the World Wide Web:
"The Asbestos Advisor is a wonderful example of making the government more attuned to the needs of its clients, the regulated community."
Prepared: October 1997
Table of Contents