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                  ACCOMPANYING REPORT 
                        OF THE

                    Washington, DC
                    September 1993

Part Three


Create a New Mission for the Bureau of Reclamation


The original mission of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), to develop water resources and provide for economic development in the West, is almost complete. BOR has completed currently planned capital construction on all major water projects except the central Arizona and Utah projects. It is anticipated that all ongoing construction projects will be completed in the next five to eight years. BOR has federal oversight responsibility for 355 storage dams and reservoirs, 52 hydroelectric power plants, 240 pumping plants, 300 recreation sites, 15,853 miles of canals, and 17,002 miles of drains composing 238 projects.

The projects were constructed either for singlepurpose usage, such as irrigation water delivery, or for multiple-purpose usage, such as hydroelectric power, municipal and industrial water deliveries, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife purposes. BOR operates and maintains 25 multipurpose projects and shares responsibility with local water districts or agencies for 39 other projects. Local water districts have full responsibility for operation and maintenance of the remaining 174 projects.

The original mission of BOR was amended by passage of the Rehabilitation and Betterment Act (R&B) in 1949; the Distribution System Loan Act in 1955; and the Small Reclamation Projects Act (SRPA) of 1956. Programs established under these acts permit local water users to finance the construction or rehabilitation of water supply and storage systems without obtaining individual project
authorization.[Endnote 1] They provide subsidies to irrigators via no-interest loans in addition to those provided by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The 1986 amendment to the SRPA program places emphasis on modernization of existing projects and on water and energy conservation, environment enhancement, and water quality improvement. The 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act provides significant governance changes in the BOR project and provides guidance and opportunities to engage in a number of new activities, such as facilitating water transfer, strengthening conservation activities, and restoring damaged ecosystems. The Act should serve as a model for reforms to other BOR projects.

Many BOR multipurpose projects provide water for municipal and industrial (M&I) as well as irrigation purposes. The existing program requires BOR to administer contracts and agreements in which interest on facilities serving M&I purposes is collected while those serving irrigation purposes are interest free. Recent Inspector General reports identified changed water use from irrigation to M&I where associated revenues had not been collected.[Endnote 2] Also, delayed collections of revenues on the Central Arizona Project and cost allocation and repayment based on irrigation benefits and power revenues are reducing income to the federal government.

As BOR's traditional construction mission ends, BOR must clarify its proper federal role in water management and devolve secondary support functions to state and local authorities. To do this, BOR developed a strategic plan with 25 elements but did not establish a single, clear mission or establish priorities for implementation of identified elements.[Endnote 3] This plan calls for an in-depth development of each element which could result in an expanded role in water and power operations, water conservation, drought management, project development, energy, investing in rural America, land resources, recreation, and research and technology transfer. This undertaking could result in an expanded role in some areas where a federal presence already exists. This ambitious undertaking would be better focused on environmental restoration and wise use of this nation's water.

Alternatives to continuing with the current strategic plan are transferring all responsibilities to other federal agencies and eliminating BOR or defining a smaller, more focused mission. Eliminating BOR would require legislation to transfer project responsibility to another agency such as the Army Corps of Engineers. Projects which affect only a single state could be devolved to the state or a legal local entity such as an irrigation district. Such an effort could result in opposition from congressional representatives of western states.

Although the traditional BOR construction mission is ending, a significant federal role in water management remains. BOR must assist in defining the federal policy for water management in the West and continuing a role of leadership in installed projects. The future of BOR must foster organizational changes that are flexible and able to respond to climatic conditions and public values. BOR must address environmental issues associated with water use in the installed projects.


  1. By the beginning of fiscal year 1995, BOR should develop a new mission which assumes a leadership role in western water policy and focuses on water management functions.

To assume this role BOR should make its primary mission to increase the flexibility of the existing western water supply infrastructure. Priority should be given to:

--improved water management (water transfers, conservation, more efficient use, pricing incentives, and so on);

--operation and maintenance of the existing multipurpose facilities; and

--environmental restoration and enhancement.

2. BOR should complete construction of approved projects, review personnel needs, and reduce fulltime equivalents (FTE) and/or redirect skilled personnel to other DOI priorities.

Approved project construction work could be completed by local districts with agreements with BOR. Reduction in construction personnel should be accomplished by attrition or reassignment to other positions.

3. BOR should develop legislation to sell or transfer title of all distribution and drainage facilities to state or local water user organizational entities (such as irrigation districts).

BOR should continue to collect repayment of BOR's capital investment payback in existing facilities until contract obligations are discharged by water users. Technical assistance to landowners for water management and conservation on irrigated cropland should be provided through USDA authorities.

4. The existing Rehabilitation and Betterment Act and Distribution System Loan Act should be repealed and the SRPA amended to eliminate the provision making irrigation a required project component.

BOR should revise its policies in order to reduce subsidies on SRPA loans. Reductions in subsidies could be in the form of increased interest rates, decreased repayment periods, and/or limited grants in lieu of subsidized loans. The remaining subsidies would be offered as incentives to water users to pursue environmental enhancement and restoration projects.

5. BOR should implement internal controls to ensure the federal government recovers an equitable share of its financing cost for water use transferred from irrigation to municipal and industrial purposes.

BOR should revise its guidelines to ensure that an equitable share of its financing costs are recovered during the repayment period, based on the proportionate water use for irrigation and M&I purposes. BOR should conduct detailed reviews of each project receiving miscellaneous revenue to determine whether current crediting practices are in accordance with applicable legislation.

The redirection of BOR would provide for continued federal interest in reservoirs which impound 245 million acre-feet of water for 28 million people and about 10 million acres of irrigated lands. However, it would eliminate BOR involvement in single-purpose diversion, water delivery, and water drainage facilities. It would also provide a well-qualified work force in contracting and construction which could address environmental problems.

Savings associated with the sale or transfer of title to single-purpose facilities are minor since the cost of project operations and maintenance are already borne by the water users. However, transfer of title would eliminate the federal responsibility for operational oversight, managing outgrants (i.e., crossing agreements and leases), and future R&B loans. In the short run, additional outlays will be required to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and for additional legal and other costs associated with transferring title. In the long-term, these additional costs could be more than offset by the savings resulting from the transfer of title.

Western water associations will be concerned about the loss of support to irrigated agriculture and the decrease in major construction projects. This concern will be voiced by the associations and individuals to their congressional delegations. Opposition to proposed legislation should be anticipated.

Downsizing BOR will result from completing construction of currently funded water supply development projects and eliminating the traditional civil works program. The anticipated reduction in the construction budget will come from a 4 to 6 percent decrease in personnel by the end of fiscal year 1995, and from a reduction in construction activities (which are contracted out to private firms). Upon adoption of the revised mission in 1995, an additional personnel reduction of 14 percent is anticipated. A 6 percent decrease in personnel in construction activity provides an estimated annual savings of $28 million. A 14 percent reduction, due to change of mission, is estimated to save an additional $59 million annually. Total downsizing savings at the end of the restructuring are estimated at $87 million annually.

BOR could sell or transfer title on single-purpose projects. There are currently 39 projects which could be transferred. If 21 projects are transferred over the next six-year period, estimated transfer costs would be $25 million. These costs should be paid by the receiving government unit. There would be no savings; however, long-term liability to the government would be reduced.

Eliminating the R&B loan program would prevent approval of 11 proposed projects with a cost of $132 million. Seven million dollars was requested for fiscal year 1994 for this loan program. After eliminating the program, current R&B loan applicants could apply for SRPA loans and, therefore, these cost savings have not been included.

Reforming the SRPA loan program could reduce federal subsidies by about 50 percent. The current subsidy averages 44 percent per dollar loaned. Increasing interest rates on the irrigation component from zero to 3 to 5 percent would reduce the subsidy to 15 to 20 percent. Applied to the existing eight proposed loans, a reduction of the subsidy to 20 percent would result in a savings of $13 million.

The total from all three initiatives --reduced construction and new mission, transfer of titles, and reduction of loan subsidies--would result in the savings summarized below.

       Budget Authority (BA) and Outlays 
             (Dollars in Millions) 

Fiscal Year

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total

.......0.0 -8.2 -23.2 -38.3 -52.8 -61.6 -184.1

.......0.0 -6.4 -20.8 -35.9 -50.5 -60.2 -173.8

Change in FTEs
.........0 -93 -344 -595 -837 -983 -983

*Note: There would be an additional $28 million revenue increase due to repayment collections of unauthorized annual credits and monitoring of water use change of irrigation to M&I.[Endnote 4]

  1. U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Reclamation, A Review and Evaluation of the Bureau of Reclamation's Loan Program (Washington, D.C., December 1992), pp 1-2.
  2. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General, Audit Reports, No. 92-I-887 and No. 92-I-1128 (Washington, D.C., undated).
  3. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, A Long Term Framework for Water Resource Management, Development, and Protection (Washington, D.C., June 1992).
  4. DOI, Audit Reports.


Improve the Federal Helium Program

For at least two reasons, the helium program provides an excellent opportunity for the federal government to review its performance. First, the helium program has fulfilled the congressional mandates to foster a private helium market, to ensure the availability of helium for the various federal agencies that require helium for their operations, and to conserve helium for the long term. Having done so, a basic question arises as to whether the government has a legitimate ongoing role in helium. Second, because of the helium program's unusual budgeting mechanism and its interrelationship with the private market, the federal government is presented with broader questions about its helium operations and policies.

Identifying a sound strategy for improving the helium program requires a careful analysis of several issues. The Helium Act of 1960 authorizes the Department of the Interior (DOI) to conserve, buy, store, produce, and sell helium to meet federal and other needs. The objectives of the act were to conserve helium for future use, provide a sustained supply of helium to meet federal needs, and foster and encourage individual enterprise in the development and distribution of helium. The Bureau of Mines (BOM) continues to meet these objectives.

In fiscal year 1992, the helium program employed 226 people, primarily in Amarillo, Texas. BOM owns and operates one helium extraction and purification plant, a helium cylinder and trailer filling facility, a crude helium reservoir, a metering and maintenance station, and a 425-mile connecting pipeline. The reservoir and pipeline are used for the federal program and by private industry to manage seasonal variations in demand. The current assets of the helium program also include a reserve of 32 billion cubic feet of crude helium, about a 10-year world supply.

Three distinct factors--the helium debt, the production of pure helium, and the helium reserve and storage facility--must be considered in determining the future policy of the program. The debt was incurred in accordance with provisions of the Helium Act requiring BOM to borrow from the Treasury to purchase helium for the government reserve. The Act requires that this debt and accrued interest be repaid to the Treasury by 1995 from helium sales revenues.

However, revenues over time have been less than expected and the debt had grown to approximately $1.2 billion at the end of fiscal year 1992. Of this amount, more than $1 billion was interest. As long as the debt is an issue, it is difficult to make an objective decision about the program. The General Accounting Office (GAO), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Interior Inspector General agree that the debt is a paper transaction which could be forgiven with no impact on the deficit. Debt forgiveness is a bookkeeping transaction that would remove BOM's responsibility for the debt from government financial records; the federal debt would remain unchanged.

According to GAO, "It is no longer realistic to expect the debt to be repaid by the statutory deadline of 1995 and,,,canceling the debt would not adversely affect the federal budget.''[Endnote 1] A precedent for canceling the debt exists in the case of the Defense Production Act of 1950 when the borrowing authority under the act was exceeded primarily by accumulated interest. Congress canceled the outstanding indebtedness and put the programs under the act on an appropriation basis.

A second factor is the production of refined helium. The Helium Act requires federal agencies to make major purchases of helium from BOM, and most of the resources of the helium program are dedicated to production. The helium program receives no direct appropriations as production costs are covered by appropriations to other federal agencies for helium purchases. Approximately $23 million was appropriated to buy helium in fiscal year 1992. Of that amount, $15 million funded operations of the helium program, $4 million paid freight costs, and $4 million was returned to the Treasury to repay the debt.

Although industry maintains that it can meet federal helium needs at no increase in cost to the government, BOM and GAO both anticipate a net increase in outlays for helium if it is purchased from private industry. The BOM estimates that it can increase efficiency and reduce costs by 10-15 percent by eliminating certain free or underpriced services such as cylinder filling, maintenance, and testing.

The use of the reservoir and existing helium reserve is the third important factor bearing on the future of the helium program. The reserve of approximately 32 billion cubic feet is about 10 times the current annual world demand for helium. The federal government could derive additional income from the sale of surplus helium from the reserve in quantities small enough not to disturb the market. In addition, private industry stores about two billion cubic feet of helium in the reservoir. Fees for the use of the reservoir and the pipeline by industry are currently less than the cost of maintaining these facilities. Long-term contracts for this use will expire beginning in fiscal year 1995, providing an opportunity for upward adjustment of fees.


  1. The Helium Act of 1960 should be amended to cancel the outstanding principal and interest of the helium debt.

Debt forgiveness will eliminate a paper transaction and will not increase the deficit since the debt is already included.

2. Coincident with debt elimination, BOM should reduce prices.

Price reduction will result in lower outlays by federal customers and an equal reduction in revenues returned to the Treasury by BOM. Current BOM refined helium prices are about 15 percent above the private sector. Price comparisons and adjustments should be made annually.

3. The BOM should reduce costs and increase efficiencies by discontinuing operations such as small cylinder filling, maintenance, and testing, and other non-revenue producing operations.

This would result in a reduction of up to 30 fulltime equivalents (FTE) and produce annual savings of approximately $1 million. DOI will continue to make adjustments in the program to increase operating efficiency and to reflect changes in the helium market, subject to further evaluation of the future role of the government in helium.

4. BOM should increase fees charged to private industry for storage, transmission and withdrawal of privately owned helium stored in the government reservoir, increasing revenues by $1 million.

5. BOM should increase sales of crude helium from the reserve to private businesses as market conditions permit.

At current prices, it is estimated that an additional $4 million to $6 million annually in revenue could be realized through the sale of 300 million cubic feet of crude helium to private industry.

Implementation of these recommendations would make DOI helium operations more efficient and costeffective. About 30 jobs would be lost, operating costs would be reduced by 10 percent, income would increase by $4 million to $8 million, and some nonincome -producing operations would be eliminated.

The proposed recommendations would result in a net increase in revenues of approximately $6 million annually starting in fiscal year 1995. Additional revenues are attributed to operational efficiencies, higher pipeline service fees, and the sale of 300 million cubic feet of crude helium to the private sector at a price of $20 per thousand cubic feet.

Appropriations to federal agencies for helium purchases would decline by $2 million as a result of pricing helium at $48 per thousand cubic feet. This reduction in outlays results in an equal reduction in revenues returned to the Treasury by BOM, an amount that has been deducted from gross anticipated increases in revenue to arrive at the net increase figure.

Some restructuring costs associated with staff reductions will be incurred during fiscal year 1994, but it is expected that full savings will be realized in fiscal year 1995. Similarly, pipeline fees will be raised as current contracts expire with the major benefits occurring in fiscal year 1995 and thereafter.

     Budget Authority (BA), Outlays, and Revenues
               (Dollars in Millions) 

Fiscal Year

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total

BA........-2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -12.0

Outlays...-2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -12.0

Revenues...5.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 35.0

Change in FTEs

-30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30 -30

  1. U.S. General Accounting Office, Mineral Resources, Meeting Federal Needs for Helium, GAO/RCED-93-1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office, October 30, 1992), p. 32.


Enhance Environmental Management by Remediating Hazardous Material Sites

As the nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for most of the U.S.' federal lands and natural resources (over 440 million acres). These lands are geographically dispersed across the country. The DOI mission statement emphasizes preserving the environmental values of these lands and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. Some DOI lands were formerly used as defense sites or for industrial purposes and were contaminated with hazardous waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently lists 432 DOI facilities on the Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket.

The department is continuing its efforts to identify hazardous materials (HAZMAT) sites that result from the effects of human activities on lands under its jurisdiction. Because a large portion of DOI lands are open to public access for activities ranging from hiking and fishing to the operating of mines, additional contamination can still occur. Maintaining an accurate inventory of these HAZMAT sites is therefore an ongoing process. DOI needs to increase its effort to address HAZMAT cleanup on its lands. Because of the high costs of remediation, DOI must make maximum use of existing resources.

Several of the bureaus within DOI, including the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service, have primary responsibility for managing lands where hazardous materials have been identified. These agencies have skills in land and natural resource management, provide training for professional staff in handling hazardous materials, and provide contract oversight for activities on their lands ranging from national park concessionaires to reclamation of polluted lands.

Other bureaus, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Mines, and Bureau of Reclamation, have scientific and technical expertise for assessing hazardous materials sites and assisting with site construction and oversight. Decisions related to mitigation of HAZMAT sites cannot be made without reliable data about the sites in question. Above all, coordination of scientific understanding with management issues is crucial when fulfilling responsibilities for the resources and people on these lands.

Therefore, an integration of managerial and scientific expertise should be implemented to yield cooperative approaches to HAZMAT site assessment and remediation. The complementary capabilities of bureaus have the potential of providing high-quality, objective information for planning remediation of hazardous waste sites. A multi-bureau, team approach to planning HAZMAT remediation that draws on DOI's full array of in-house resources should be implemented.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in 1991 by DOI, the Western Governors' Association, and other federal agencies to work on a collaborative approach to the development of technical solutions for environmental restoration. The purpose of the partnership is to test ways to expedite the deployment of innovative technologies for cleanup. Following a departmentwide HAZMAT conference in 1993, the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science recommended that DOI designate pilot projects to develop remediation plans for contaminated lands in the western states. The purpose of the pilots is to test the use of in-house expertise to develop a strategy for cooperative assessment of HAZMAT sites.

Pilot projects are needed to demonstrate new models for state and federal partnerships. Pilots will also provide an opportunity to field-test new technologies for remediation. These model approaches and technologies should lead to achieving cleanup goals more rapidly and at less cost than current methods.

DOI needs to send a strong message that pollution of public lands is unacceptable. Responsible parties should be prosecuted to the full extent of federal law and be held liable for cleanup costs. However, before a remediation program can be fully realized, the department needs to surmount legal and fiscal obstacles.

DOI must pursue enhanced enforcement authority to clean up departmental lands by those parties actually responsible for the pollution. At present, the department has no enforcement authority in this area. A remediation and restoration effort based on the principle that polluters pay will require a financial investment in planning and oversight. Because of the large number of sites, high cost of cleanup, and the length of time it takes to plan for and reclaim HAZMAT sites, DOI must plan for the long term. Resolving the HAZMAT problem will ultimately demand additional legal and fiscal resources.

Establishing a legal strike force will enable bureau environmental staff to work with DOI attorneys toward common departmental remediation, cleanup, and restoration goals. DOI strike force attorneys will also work with other federal agencies, including the EPA, to cooperatively address legal and liability issues that present obstacles to cleanups.


  1. DOI should integrate managerial and scientific expertise in cooperative, cross-bureau approaches to hazardous material site assessment and remediation.

To accomplish this goal, the development of formal cooperative agreements among bureaus for planning and implementing cleanup of specific sites is necessary. Other methods include use of intra-bureau personnel exchanges, electronic bulletin boards, and collective data-base development.

2. DOI should designate several hazardous material sites as pilot projects for cooperative, multi-bureau assessments to develop remediation plans.

The pilots should be designed to model collaborative approaches and demonstrate new and innovative cleanup technologies. Four pilot sites should be identified on DOI lands in western states during 1993. The sites should be selected in consultation with the Western Governor's Association HAZMAT group.

One pilot site should be selected to begin implementation in fiscal year 1994. Site assessment and evaluation and design of a remedial effort should occur during fiscal years 1994 and 1995. At the end of 1995, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the demonstration project should be conducted. If the demonstration project is successful, implementation of the remediation plan should begin in fiscal year 1996, and work should begin at another pilot site. The remaining two pilots should be started, one each year, in fiscal years 1997 and 1998.

3. DOI should establish a legal strike force by the end of 1994 to address barriers to cleanup.

Aggressive enforcement and cost recovery actions are necessary to ensure that the polluter pays. The department must have increased enforcement authority to compel the parties responsible for pollution of a site to pay for the cleanup. DOI must also have the ability to retain and use the monies recovered through cost recovery actions to pay for the actual costs of cleanups on DOI land.

The phased approach to site identification and remediation planning is important to ensure that resources are used wisely and that time is permitted for resolution of legal issues. After completion, these approaches and technologies can be compared to traditional, contractor-dependent remediation on the basis of cost-effectiveness and reliability. The use of in-house resources in DOI remediation efforts would increase accountability and quality control. Inter-bureau cooperation would also improve DOI's ability to track its dynamic HAZMAT inventory.

In fiscal years 1992 and 1993, DOI spent about $70 million on HAZMAT-related activities, with costs reported individually by bureau. These expenditures included site inventory, evaluation, and prioritization; staff training; safety and environmental compliance; pollution prevention; and management of HAZMAT sites. Only a small percentage of these funds represent actual cleanup of contamination. Cooperative, cross-bureau agreements which emphasize resource sharing are needed to ensure that the overall DOI effort is cost-effective and efficient.

DOI proposes cooperative efforts integrating managerial and scientific expertise within current resource levels. However, planning the assessment and remediation of HAZMAT sites requiring cleanup will demand an investment of additional resources. DOI estimates that implementation of a pilot program to demonstrate cooperative HAZMAT assessment and remediation at a single site will cost about $14 million over a five-year period.

Additional expenditures of approximately $550,000 per year would be required for any year after completion of the pilot project and prior to the start of the actual cleanup. These expenditures would be needed to maintain the integrity of the site and to continue low-level data collection for monitoring at the site. DOI also estimates that one additional full-time equivalent (FTE) will be needed to coordinate the pilot project at a total cost of $100,000 per year (salary, benefits, and administrative support) over the five years.

This proposal does not fund the actual cleanup of the contaminated sites. The start of the cleanup would depend on the resolution of legal issues and the availability of funds. EPA estimates actual cleanup of an average Superfund site is about $30 million over several years. Cleanup must then be followed by site operation and maintenance over a 20-year period estimated to cost about another $3.8 million. These estimates indicate an investment for complete cleanup of a single site at nearly $50 million. Many experts believe these figures underestimate total costs, but they are the most accurate to date.

To establish an effective legal strike force, the department estimates an additional seven FTEs would be required. These positions, with associated salaries, benefits, and administrative support, would cost $600,000 per year. The large-scale commitment of resources needed to address the restoration of HAZMAT sites makes these recommendations for cooperative pilot and legal enforcement approaches critical. The remediation process is too costly to risk wasting resources on untested approaches and too lengthy to proceed without enforcement authority and the ability to ensure that polluters pay for cleanup.

        Budget Authority (BA) and Outlays 
            (Dollars in Millions) 

Fiscal Year

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total

BA*......2.1 3.9 6.0 4.1 1.3 1.3 18.7

Outlays..2.1 3.9 6.0 4.1 1.3 1.3 18.7

Change in FTEs
............7 7 7 7 7 7 7

*Note: Budget authority reflects the cost of seven new FTEs, one HAZMAT pilot project for years 1994- 1998, and site monitoring costs for 1999.

Agency Reinvention Activities

Getting Started and Encouraging Participation

The employees of the Department of the Interior (DOI) received Vice President Gore's announcement of the National Performance Review (NPR) with enthusiasm. The NPR reinforced President Clinton's mandate to revitalize and restore DOI to an efficient and effective natural resources management agency.

DOI developed three goals for the reinvention process of changing the practices and culture of the agency:

--to join the Vice President in the process of developing recommendations for NPR;

--to reach out to all department employees for their assistance in identifying, reviewing and implementing opportunities for improvement; and

--to use NPR as a tool to incorporate the most successful elements of past efforts to improve and integrate the delivery of DOI services.

Secretary Bruce Babbitt challenged Interior's many bureaus to reconsider their missions. Many of these agencies have grown over time without clearly defined goals and objectives. To meet the Secretary's challenge, employees were asked to rethink their daily operations, redefine their roles, and provide input on how to redesign their programs to meet new customer demands. As a central aspect of refocusing missions, DOI is emphasizing increased use of scientific tools to make resource management decisions. Scientific information has too often been ignored, misapplied, or even worse, absent in the decision-making process. Researchers within DOI bureaus are also making their scientific work more accessible to lay persons.

Throughout the reinvention process, the DOI reinvention team has focused on suggestions that would benefit the department without the need for increased appropriations or additional staff.

Organizing for Change

Based on the direction set by Vice President Gore and Secretary Babbitt, DOI has organized its reinvention efforts to build interagency cooperation and to encourage participation by rank and file employees.

DOI's effort to include input from its employees officially began with Vice President Gore's visit to the Main Interior Building for a Town Hall meeting. That event, which produced a number of concrete suggestions for change, was soon followed by a second town hall meeting at the regional center in Denver. In addition to these two high-profile events, employee input is being solicited through suggestion drop boxes, e-mail messages, mailings, and employee interviews. Secretary Babbitt made a commitment to respond to each and every suggestion received. Employees have responded by generating hundreds of suggestions to assist the department in pursuing its reinvention effort.

To manage the reinvention process within the department, DOI has established a Coordinator's Group made up of representatives from each of its bureaus and the offices of the Assistant Secretaries. The Coordinator's Group serves as the department's steering committee for reinvention programs and activities. Members of the Coordinator's Group have been assigned to each of the department's systems teams and reinvention labs.

DOI formed 11 System Reinvention Teams (SRTs) modeled on the organizational structure of the Vice President's task force. These teams will seek to improve horizontal communication and working relationships among the bureaus as they develop reinvention strategies. The membership of these teams reflects a wide range of backgrounds and grade levels--each team is composed of six or seven members from different agencies.

The SRTs were charged with reviewing the hundreds of reinvention suggestions generated by DOI's employees through the department's outreach efforts. After these comments were evaluated and prioritized, more than 100 suggestions emerged from the process. Delegates from each team met to report their findings and to develop a consensus on action priorities. The list of suggestions was then narrowed, by combining similar recommendations from different sectors. From that list, Interior's policy team selected 20 recommendations for immediate attention. Implementation plans for these action items are being created by the SRTs.

Reinvention Laboratories

DOI is sponsoring seven different reinvention laboratories at both the department and bureau levels. These reinvention labs build on past efforts while experimenting with novel management systems, new technology, and fresh ideas.

At the departmental level, the Office of Environmental Affairs is examining the natural resource damage assessment process used in determining fines that are paid after accidents such as the Exxon Valdez grounding.

At the bureau level, both programmatic and fiscal management issues are the subject of reinvention laboratories. Programmatic issues include the following:

--The Bureau of Land Management is working to improve the quality and timeliness of the services delivered to field offices from its Denver regional office.

--The Bureau of Mines is reviewing the activities of its Pittsburgh Research Center, the government's premier center for coal mine health and safety work.

--The Sacramento Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is developing approaches to meet its multiple environmental protection responsibilities, especially those in California's heavily used Central Valley watershed.

The following fiscal issues are being investigated:

--The Minerals Management Service is
simplifying and streamlining its royalty collection and reporting system, which generates federal revenues from the sale of the nation's oil and gas resources.

--The U.S. Geological Survey, which publishes 1,500 maps annually and sells more than 7 million maps each year to both map dealers and the general public, is reviewing the efficiency of its map sales operations and distribution center.

--The Bureau of Reclamation, which develops and manages irrigation projects in western states, is working in concert with the Department of Agriculture to review the appropriateness of the reporting requirements for farmers who receive commodity stabilization price supports and for farmers who participate in subsidized water projects.

The findings from the reinvention laboratories will be presented to the department's policy leaders and the bureau management teams.

Continuing the Process

New ideas for promising reinvention labs continue to surface. DOI management is eager to participate in national initiatives, such as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which will demonstrate the benefits of changing the way government does business.

Perhaps the most important and immediate effect of the NPR process has been the building of bridges among DOI's bureaus. The systems teams opened up new lines of communication which were developed through this process. Dozens of suggestions that have been considered by Interior's policy team have been sent back to the SRTs for additional research, issue definition, and planning--all with the ultimate goal of implementation.

Opening the doors to participatory management has had a positive effect on employee engagement. Team members from the SRTs continue to receive and solicit ideas from their fellow employees. Interior's Reinventing Personnel Management team, for example, will be holding a series of focus groups to identify both concerns and solutions.

Through these teams and the Reinvention Labs, the structure is in place for a continuing process of reinventing the department and fulfilling the department's mission.

Summary of Fiscal Impact
     Change in Budget Authority by Fiscal Year
              (Dollars in Millions)

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total Change in


DOI01: Establish a Hard Rock Mine Reclamation Fund to Restore the Environment
cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI02: Redefine Federal Oversight of Coal Mine Regulation
0.0 0.0 -7.0 -7.0 -7.0 -7.0 -28.00 0

DOI03: Establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure
6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 36.0 5

DOI04: Promote Entrepreneurial Management of the National Park Service
0.0 30.0 53.0 77.0 86.0 86.0 332.0 0

DOI05: Obtain a Fair Return for Federal Resources 0.0 12.2 22.4 32.6 32.6 32.6 132.4 0

DOI06: Rationalize Federal Land Ownership n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI07: Improve the Land Acquisition Policies of DOI
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI08: Improve Minerals Management Service Royalty Collections

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0

DOI09: Establish a System of Personnel Exchanges in DOI

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI10: Consolidate Administrative and Programmatic Functions in DOI0.

0 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -17.5 -470

DOI11: Streamline Management Support Systems in DOI

cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI12: Create a New Mission for the Bureau of Reclamation

0.0 -8.2 -23.2 -38.3 -52.8 -61.6 -184.1 -983

DOI13: Improve the Federal Helium Program -2.0 2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -12.0 -30

DOI14: Enhance Environmental Management by Remediating Hazardous Material Sites

2.1 3.9 6.0 4.1 1.3 1.3 18.7 7

Total Department of the Interior

6.1 38.4 51.7 68.9 60.6 51.8 277.5 -1471

cbe = Cannot be estimated (due to data limitations or uncertainties about implementation timelines).

n/a = Not applicable (recommendation improves efficiency or redirects resources but does not directly reduce budget authority).

*NPR recommends redirecting half of increased park income to investment in park infrastructure.

          Change in Outlays by Fiscal Year
              (Dollars in Millions)

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total

DOI01: Establish a Hard Rock Mine Reclamation Fund to Restore the Environment
cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI02: Redefine Federal Oversight of Coal Mine Regulation
0.0 0.0 -7.0 -7.0 -7.0 -7.0 -28.0

DOI03: Establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure
6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 36.0

DOI04: Promote Entrepreneurial Management of the National Park Service
0.0 12.0 30.0 56.0 73.0 83.0 254.0

DOI05: Obtain a Fair Return for Federal Resources 0.0 12.2 22.4 32.6 32.6 32.6 132.4

DOI06: Rationalize Federal Land Ownership n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI07: Improve the Land Acquisition Policies of DOI
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI08: Improve Minerals Management Service Royalty Collections
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

DOI09: Establish a System of Personnel Exchanges in DOI
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI10: Consolidate Administrative and Programmatic Functions in DOI
0.0 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -3.5 -17.5

DOI11: Streamline Management Support Systems in DOI
cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI12: Create a New Mission for the Bureau of Reclamation
0.0 -6.4 -20.8 -35.9 -50.5 -60.2 -173.8

DOI13: Improve the Federal Helium Program -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -2.0 -12.0

DOI14:Enhance Environmental Management by Remediating Hazardous Material Sites
2.1 3.9 6.0 4.1 1.3 1.3 18.7

Total Department of the Interior
6.1 22.2 31.1 50.3 49.9 50.2 209.8

cbe = Cannot be estimated (due to data limitations or uncertainties about implementation timelines).

n/a = Not applicable (recommendation improves efficiency or redirects resources but does not directly reduce outlays).

*NPR recommends redirecting half of increased park income to investment in park infrastructure.

         Change in Revenues by Fiscal Year
              (Dollars in Millions)

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total

DOI01: Establish a Hard Rock Mine Reclamation Fund to Restore the Environment
cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI02: Redefine Federal Oversight of Coal Mine Regulation
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

DOI03: Establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

DOI04: Promote Entrepreneurial Management of the National Park Service
70.0 123.0 182.0 206.0 206.0 206.0 993.0

DOI05: Obtain a Fair Return for Federal Resources 50.2 72.8 92.2 111.5 111.5 111.5 549.7

DOI06: Rationalize Federal Land Ownership n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI07: Improve the Land Acquisition Policies of DOI
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI08: Improve Minerals Management Service Royalty Collections
0.0 2.0 5.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 28.0

DOI09: Establish a System of Personnel Exchanges in DOI
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

DOI10: Consolidate Administrative and Programmatic Functions in DOI
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

DOI11: Streamline Management Support Systems in DOI
cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe cbe

DOI12: Create a New Mission for the Bureau of Reclamation
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

DOI13: Improve the Federal Helium Program 5.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 35.0

DOI14: Enhance Environmental Management by Remediating Hazardous Material Sites
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Total Department of the Interior
125.2 203.8 285.2 330.5 330.5 330.5 1,605.7

cbe = Cannot be estimated (due to data limitations or uncertainties about implementation timelines.

n/a = Not applicable (recommendation improves efficiency or redirects resources but does not directly create revenue).

*NPR recommends redirecting half of increased park income to investment in park infrastructure.


Accompanying Reports of the National Performance Review

Governmental Systems Abbr.

Changing Internal Culture

Creating Quality Leadership and Management.QUAL

 Streamlining Management Control.............SMC
 Transforming Organizational Structures......ORG
 Improving Customer Service..................ICS

Reinventing Processes and Systems

Mission-Driven, Results-Oriented Budgeting..BGT

 Improving Financial Management...............FM
 Reinventing Human Resource Management ......HRM
 Reinventing Federal Procurement............PROC
 Reinventing Support Services   .............SUP
 Reengineering Through Information Technology.IT
 Rethinking Program Design...................DES

Restructuring the Federal Role

Strengthening the Partnership in

 Intergovernmental Service Delivery..........FSL
 Reinventing Environmental Management........ENV
 Improving Regulatory Systems................REG

Agencies and Departments

 Agency for International Development........AID
 Department of Agriculture..................USDA
 Department of Commerce......................DOC
 Department of Defense.......................DOD
 Department of Education......................ED
 Department of Energy........................DOE
 Environmental Protection Agency.............EPA
 Executive Office of the President...........EOP
 Federal Emergency Management Agency........FEMA
 General Services Administration.............GSA
 Department of Health and Human Services.....HHS
 Department of Housing and 
 Urban Development...........................HUD
 Intelligence Community....................INTEL
 Department of the Interior..................DOI
 Department of Justice.......................DOJ
 Department of Labor.........................DOL
 National Aeronautics and Space
 National Science Foundation/Office of 
 Science and Technology Policy...............NSF
 Office of Personnel Management..............OPM
 Small Business Administration...............SBA
 Department of State/ U.S. Information 
 Department of Transportation................DOT
 Department of the Treasury/ Resolution 
 Trust Corporation...........................TRE
 Department of Veterans Affairs..............DVA