THE WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT __________________________________________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, March 29, 1994
VICE PRESIDENT OUTLINES NEW ROLE FOR FEDERAL EXECUTIVES Challenges Government Managers To Adopt Leadership Models Encourages All Federal Workers To Focus On Improving Customer Service WASHINGTON -- Citing the need to restore public trust in the federal
government so it can get down to the business of serving the American people, Vice President Al Gore today (3/29) called on federal executives to dramatically change how they manage their departments and agencies and outlined for them new roles based on leadership models used successfully in the private sector.
The Vice President's speech at Georgetown University kicked off the Marver H. Bernstein Symposium on Governmental Reform. Sponsored by Georgetown University, this series will provide a forum for scholars, policy makers and students to discuss the challenges and opportunities confronting government institutions.
"It is time to get rid of the old way of managing the federal government where control is centralized and direction comes only from the highest levels. While that system was effective in the early 1900s, it no longer meets the needs of government's customers, the American people," the Vice President said. "What's needed instead is an entirely new model of leadership based on clear sets of principles, flexibility, innovation, accountability and customer service."
"Federal executives are where this revolution starts or stops. In each of their departments and agencies, they must be responsible for leading the change from the old way of doing the government's business to a more efficient, effective system where employees are empowered to provide the American people with the best service possible," the Vice President said.
"The information age has made possible 'flatter' organizations, wider spans of control, and quicker information sharing. It is now possible for a President -- whether of a company or a country -- to decentralize, yet keep field operations accountable," he said. "It means empowering employees to do their jobs, yet holding them accountable for the results."
The Vice President said the federal government has failed to keep pace with the sensible developments in management theory over the last few decades that have been so successfully adopted in the private sector -- and by many in state and local governments all around the country.
Specifically, federal executives should:
Encourage innovation and culture change: managers should help paint a clear vision and specify a mission for workers.
Implement the laws of the United States: the expectations of the President should be shared with every employee.
Be accountable to the public: use surveys and goal-setting measures to provide better customer service and empower front line workers.
Manage and empower other government employees: give employees freedom to accomplish goals within broad guidelines.
"Experience has shown that painting a vision of what needs to be done and allowing those closest to the processes to find the best way of doing it is a powerful tool to increase productivity and efficiency," the Vice President said.
Reinventing the role of federal executives is part of a government wide effort to improve federal service. On September 7, Vice President Al Gore presented to President Clinton a report, the National Performance Review: Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less, which detailed hundreds of recommendations and cost-savings reforms. About 80 percent of those recommendations already are being put in place across the federal government.