Bush proposes to cut middle management jobs

tshoop@govexec.com

Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush said he would eliminate 40,000 middle management jobs in the federal government over the next five years and open to competition at least half of all jobs not defined as "inherently governmental."

In a speech on government reform in Philadelphia on Friday, Bush called for "a departure from old ways of government." He said that while Vice President Gore's reinventing government effort had reduced low-and-mid-level jobs in government, the middle and senior management levels of government have grown in the past eight years.

"We now have Washington offices crowded with people bearing titles like 'associate principal deputy assistant secretary' or 'principal deputy to the deputy assistant secretary,' " Bush said.

To address that issue, Bush said he would not replace 40,000 of the 80,000 senior and middle managers who are projected to retire over the next five years, and would eliminate layers of management in agencies.

Bush also proposed to:

  • Appoint a governmentwide chief information officer to accelerate e-government efforts.
  • Require agencies to pass their annual financial audits.
  • Enforce the Government Performance and Results Act by recommending that programs that work receive higher levels of funding. Agency inspector generals, Bush said, will certify the accuracy of GPRA reports, and OMB will factor the results into budget decisions.
  • Establish a federal "Sunset Review Board" to recommend eliminating programs deemed to be unnecessary or duplicative.
  • Convert at least half of all federal service contracts to performance-based contracts.
  • Create performance incentives in the federal civil service system to reward achievement and attract job candidates from the private sector.
  • Move all significant government procurement to the Internet within three years.
  • Open to competition from the private sector at least half of the 900,000 federal jobs not identified as inherently governmental under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act. (For a complete roundup of agencies' FAIR Act jobs lists, see GovExec.com's FAIR Act Report.)
Bush said the reforms would save $88 billion over five years.

"For all the [Clinton] administration's rhetoric about reinvention," Bush said, "they never ask fundamental questions about the purpose of government-what it is doing, or whether it should be doing it at all. At a time when private businesses are turning to leaner management teams, Washington keeps adding new managers. They haven't reinvented government bureaucracy-they've just reshuffled it."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
X CLOSE Don't show again

Like us on Facebook