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IV. New Government -
"We can no longer afford to pay more for --and get less from
our government. The answer for every problem cannot always be another
program or more money. It is time to radically change the way government
operates -- to shift from top-down bureaucracy to entrepreneurial
government that empowers citizens and communities to change our country
from the bottom up. We must reward the people and ideas that work and
get rid of those that don't."
-- Governor Bill Clinton/Senator Al Gore
Putting People First, 1992
A Government that Was Too Big and Cost Too Much
When Bill Clinton took office in January, 1993, he inherited a
government that was bloated andcost too much. The federal deficit was
over $300 billion and the bureaucracy had grown to over 2.2 million
President Clinton Boldly Started Reinventing Government
The goal was simple: create a government that works better and
costs less. The President established the
National Performance Review, under the direction of Vice President
Gore, to reinvent government. Within six months, the Vice President
produced a report containing 384 recommendations to reinvent the
government - a report which became a New York Times bestseller.
Since January, 1993, $63 billion in savings have been enacted;
federal employment has dropped by over 100,000; 1500 customer service
standards have been adopted; and the President signed major procurement
reform legislation into law.
Four Main Principles
The Vice President's National Performance Review developed
four main principles to guide its efforts to reinvent government:
Cut Government Back to Basics -- cut the size of the Federal work
force and constantly find ways to make government work better and cost
less -- reengineering how work is done and reexamining programs and
The Clinton Administration has cut over 100,000 federal jobs
already. In less than five years, the federal government civilian work
force will drop by at least 272,900 -- the smallest it's been since the
We've saved the American taxpayer $63 billion through reinventing
We're in the process of closing 1,200 U. S. Department of
Put Customers First. Changing government's culture by focusing on
what matters to the people it serves.
For the first time, federal agencies have asked customers what
they want and set more than 1,500 customer service standards.
The Social Security Administration will cut its response time to
disability benefit claims from 155 days to 60 days.
Before President Clinton took office, millions of people did not
receive their Social Security cards within five days. Now they do.
Before President Clinton took office, the Customs Service often took
hours, even days, to move fresh flowers and fruit and
other perishable cargo through its port in Miami. Today, the U.S.
Customs Service international cargo clears within thirty minutes
Cut Red Tape. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork, procedures and
requirements for the federal government, its state and local partners
and its customers.
The Small Business Administration shrank a 2-inch thick loan
application down to 2 pages.
President Clinton has given 29 states the right to slash
through federal regulations to reform their welfare systems.
To get results -- remove layers of oversight, give front-line employees
not only responsibility and accountability.
In 1994, the President signed into law the Procurement Bill,
reinventing the federal government's procurement system.
Under the new system, thousands of employees will be able to
purchase what they need immediately.
In a move to save billions of
dollars, the Defense Department will free contractors from the
burdensome mil specs, making greater use of commercial items and
allowing more contractors to seek defense work: competition means
better quality and prices.