Woods leaves REGO team to head Education office

Woods leaves REGO team for Education


As one of the leading members of Vice President Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Greg Woods has spent years developing theories about how to make agencies run better. Now he's going to get a chance to put them into practice at the Department of Education.

Woods will leave Gore's team to become the chief operating officer at the Education Department's Office of Student Financial Assistance, the federal government's first performance-based organization (PBO).

Education Department Secretary Richard Riley planned to make the official announcement Tuesday at a press briefing.

Language transforming the Office of Student Financial Assistance into a PBO was included in the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, which President Clinton signed in October.

In a PBO -- a management concept envisioned by Gore's team three years ago -- government executives are given broad exemptions from federal procurement and personnel rules in exchange for tough performance standards. The idea is that some federal programs can perform better if they are run more like private companies.

Under the legislation, in return for a shot at substantial bonuses, senior executives in charge of student aid will commit to annual performance goals. The executives will also be given wide-ranging management flexibilities. Woods will be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 50 percent of his salary. Salaries and bonuses for other top executives will be limited to 125 percent of the maximum Senior Executive Service pay rate.