Spotlight on Reinvention

At a campaign rally today in Portland, Ore., President Clinton released The Best Kept Secrets in Government, the fourth annual report of Vice President Gore's National Performance Review.

One of the reasons those secrets are so well kept is that Gore and President Clinton have decided not to place too much emphasis on their reinvention efforts during this fall's presidential campaign. This morning, however, the President made reinvention the focus. "We have proved that we can make government work," Clinton said at an appearance in downtown Portland. Since 1993, the President said, savings from reinvention-related reforms have totaled $118 billion.

In the new report, Gore emphasizes the Administration's effort to cut 240,000 federal jobs in the past four years, calling it "the largest, swiftest government-wide cut in the history of United States." While Republicans have noted that the majority of the cuts have come from Defense downsizing, Gore argues the downsizing effort is "not just a post-Cold War defense reduction; every department except Justice has become smaller."

Gore concedes, however, that the Administration has not met its goal of targeting the cuts at "excess layers of management" in agencies headquarters staffs and in overhead operations such as procurement and personnel. "So far, the personnel reductions have occurred pretty much across the board, because we were trying to avoid layoffs," he writes in the report. "We'll have to retrain and reassign some people to get them into the right jobs."

The General Accounting Office concluded in a recent report that most agencies failed to meet the goal of cutting management slots, and those that did so often simply reclassified supervisors as non-supervisors.

Gore's report is divided into four sections, each describing a different "secret:"
  • Common Sense Has Come to the Federal Government cites several examples of procurement reforms, including a new contract with Federal Express under which agencies can send a three-pound package overnight for $3.62. The retail cost of such delivery is $27.
  • Government is Serving People Better focuses on the NPR's customer service initiatives, especially the improvement in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to disaster victims.
  • Government is in Partnership with Business highlights the Administration's effort to cooperate with businesses in revising federal regulations. Since 1992, Gore notes, the Environmental Protection Agency has more than tripled business membership in its "Partners for the Environment" program.
  • Government is Partnering with Communities says that President Clinton has asked Congress to combine 271 separate grants and programs into 27 "performance partnerships," such as a pilot project involving federal agencies and the state of Oregon known as the "Oregon Option."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • 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.

  • 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.


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