View Header


Office of Domestic Policy

For Immediate Release March 3, 1993


             "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 
                                       President Bill 
                                       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 government:

  1. Before we ask ordinary Americans to do more, government must learn to make do with less. It is time to demonstrate that government can be as frugal as any household in America.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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 better.

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:

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:

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.


            "It is time for government to 
       demonstrate in the condition we're in 
       that we can be as frugal as any household 
       in America."
                           President Bill Clinton
                           Address to Joint Session 
  of Congress
                           February 17, 1993

Change Starts at the Top

A Detailed Economic Plan of Investment and Serious Deficit Reduction

economy back on track without the "smoke and mirrors" of the past 12 years.