"The people demand and deserve an active
government on their side. But they don't want a
government that wastes money, a government that
costs more and does less. They voted for change.
They wanted a literal revolution in the way
government operates, and now, you and I must
Remarks to the
February 10, 1993
Today, the President has asked Vice-President
Gore to lead a revolution in Washington that will
change the way government does business. The American
people deserve a government that treats them like
customers and puts them in charge -- by providing more
choices, better services, less bureaucracy, and a good
return on their investment.
Four principles will guide this revolution in
Before we ask ordinary Americans to do more,
must learn to make do with less. It is time to
demonstrate that government can be as frugal as any
household in America.
Our goal is to improve services and expand
opportunity, not bureaucracy. Over the past
decade, America's most successful companies
restructured themselves to meet the global
competition by eliminating unnecessary layers of
management, putting more power in the hands of
front-line workers, and finding out what their
customers want -- and then delivering it. The
federal government must finally undertake the same
searing re-examination of its mission that
companies go through every year just to survive.
Government will only succeed if it listens
to its customers, the American people. We need to
make government customer-friendly -- by giving
people more choices, better services, and a bigger
say in how their government works.
This revolution in government must come
from within. No one is more frustrated by the
bureaucracy than the workers who deal with it every
day and know better than anyone how to fix it.
Employees at the front lines know how to make
government work if someone will listen.
THE NATIONAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW
It is not enough just to cut government -- we
need to rethink the way government works. We need
to reexamine every dollar of the taxpayers' money
that government spends, and every minute of time
the government puts in on business. The hardworking
people who pay the bill for government year
in and year out have a right to know they're
getting their money's worth.
For the next six months, under the Vice
President's direction, experts from every Cabinet
department will carry out a nationwide review of
every government program and service. The National
Performance Review will enlist front-line federal
workers and the general public in a nationwide
search for ways not only to cut wasteful spending,
but to improve services and make government work
The National Performance Review is designed to
instill a new spirit of responsibility and
innovation into every department. It will
challenge the basic assumptions of every federal
program, by asking the hard questions that
government has dodged for too long:
Does the program work?
Does it waste taxpayer dollars?
Does it provide quality customer service?
Does it encourage government innovation and
reward hard work?
Finally, if the answer to these questions is
no, can the program be fixed -- or is it no longer
The National Performance Review will put more
than 100 managers, auditors, and front-line
employees from across the government to work on
specific recommendations for improving services and
cutting waste. They will:
evaluate the efficiency of every federal
program and service;
identify specific spending cuts in federal
programs and services that don't work anymore, or
no longer advance the mission they were intended to
recommend ways to streamline the bureaucracy
by eliminating unnecessary layers of management and
reducing duplication of effort;
ask federal workers and the American people
to send the Vice President specific suggestions on
how to improve services and cut bureaucratic waste;
find ways to improve services by making
better use of new information technology, and by
making government programs more responsive to the
customers they serve.
This Review will not produce another report --
Washington has had too many reports and not enough
action. The National Performance Review will
present the President with a list of specific
recommendations for action -- program by program
and agency by agency.
The Texas Model
The National Performance Review is patterned
after an innovative and highly successful program
pioneered by Texas Governor Ann Richards and
Comptroller John Sharp. Two years ago, facing a
$4.6 billion budget shortfall, the Legislature
asked Sharp to conduct a sweeping review of every
aspect of Texas state government. A team of 100
auditors from 16 state agencies worked around the
clock for five months -- conducting hundreds of
interviews with front-line workers and fielding
thousands of calls from taxpayers.
The Texas Performance Review presented
recommendations for savings of $4.2 billion. The
Legislature adopted more than 60% of the Review's
recommendations, saving a total of $2.4 billion. A
second review this past year proposed
recommendations on how to save $4.5 billion more.
THE CLINTON RECORD ON STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT
"It is time for government to
demonstrate in the condition we're in
that we can be as frugal as any household
President Bill Clinton
Address to Joint Session
February 17, 1993
Change Starts at the Top
As he had promised, President Clinton
reorganized the White House and cut staff by 25%
below the level at which he found it -- a reduction
of 350 positions -- and cut senior staff pay by 6-
10%. Together, these reductions will save $10
million a year and make the White House more
Shortly after he took office, the President
took executive action to:
Reduce the federal bureaucracy by at least
Require agencies to itemize administrative
costs, and reduce them by 14% over four years;
Eliminate at least one-third of the more
than 700 non-statutory federal advisory
Cut the Executive Vehicle Fleet by 50%,
close executive dining rooms that don't
recover costs, and tighten controls on the use
of executive aircraft and home-to-office
Under the Administration's economic plan,
there will be no national pay increase for federal
employees in 1994, and increases will be one
percent less than current law for each of the three
years after that.
Taken together, the measures to streamline
the federal bureaucracy, cut administrative costs,
and reduce federal pay increases will save more
than $23 billion over four years.
A Detailed Economic Plan of Investment and Serious
President Clinton's 145-page, detailed
Vision of Change for America offers a new way of
governing. The President's plan includes serious
and credible deficit reduction and a long-term plan
to get our
economy back on track without the "smoke and
mirrors" of the past 12 years.
The package calls for 150 specific domestic
savings, as well as a long-term plan to invest in
America and an immediate stimulus package to
jumpstart the economy and create jobs to get
America working again.