USDA waives internal regs for reinventors

tshoop@govexec.com

It didn't take long for agencies to respond to the Clinton Administration's order this week that they make it easier for employees to request waivers from internal rules and regulations. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Richard Rominger announced Wednesday at the Reinvention Revolution Conference that USDA was issuing a blanket waiver from internal rules for all of the department's "reinvention laboratories."

As a result, USDA reinventors will no longer have to request individual waivers from departmental regulations, said Greg Carnill, an executive officer of the department's National Food and Agricultural Council, which handles department-wide reinvention initiatives. They will simply need to report on which rules they have bypassed in their reform efforts.

The new policy, said Carnill, will enable employees to sidestep internal rules that might, for example, require multiple signatures of approval for small purchases. Employees and managers will still be required to follow governmentwide rules, regulations and laws on such subjects as procurement and personnel management.

Carnill said the waiver would apply to dozens of different initiatives underway at various USDA offices, not simply those that have been designated official reinvention labs by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

USDA employees at the conference were quick to praise Rominger's announcement. Denise Barnes of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said the waiver would make it much easier for front-line employees to implement reforms. "There'll be none of this begging for permission, none of this taking six months to get something simple," she said.

On Tuesday at the conference, Vice President Al Gore highlighted a waiver from USDA rules obtained by APHIS's Tort Claims Adjudication Team. Using the waiver authority, the group, which handles citizens' complaints against the government, reduced the processing time for tort claims of less than $2,500 from an average of 51 days to an average of eight days.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.