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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 17, 1994
              Gore Hears About Streamlined Programs,
                Improved Customer Service Standards

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore and General Services Administration Commissioner Roger Johnson today (6/17) met with GSA reinvention leaders who have cut bureaucratic red tape, improved customer service standards and empowered employees to get real results. The Vice President also presented the National Performance Review Hammer Award to representatives from GSA offices in Fort Worth, TX, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, and Denver, CO.

"GSA has been a leader of reinventing government. Their success stories prove that we can cut bureaucratic red tape, streamline programs, and empower federal workers to make needed changes while holding them accountable for those results. GSA is one of the most customer-focused organizations in the entire government," Vice President Gore said.

Johnson said, "From day one, GSA employees have eagerly embraced Vice President Gore's challenge to reinvent our federal government. In just a brief time, their reinvention initiatives have made efficiency and excellence the standard rule at the new GSA -- resulting in tremendous savings for the American taxpayers. Reinvention has given them the tools they desperately needed to move forward and excel in what they do best."

GSA employees who received the Hammer Award include representatives from the Rocky Mountain Regional Lease Team in Denver, CO. This office is responsible for acquiring, leasing and maintaining properties for federal agencies. Previously, requirements involving these properties were long and tedious. Now, streamlined procedures allow GSA to compete effectively with the private sector. In addition, the Rocky Mountain Regional Lease Team members have put the maintenance staff in direct contact with their tenant customers. They created a client-driven concept of service delivery that cut paperwork, eliminated cumbersome procedures and reduced response time from several days to a few minutes.

At the Fort Worth, Texas, GSA office, reinvention leaders have instituted a new discrepancy resolution process to provide customers who have problems with their shipments with "on the spot" solutions. The old procedures required customers who had complaints to complete a form, mail it in for consideration and wait for a response to arrive by mail. The new system saves customers both time and money.

Reinvention leaders in the Philadelphia, PA division, have cut paperwork required in the procurement process, improved the process by which contractor proposals are evaluated, and reduced the administrative burden for managers and contracting officers. Average procurement time has been reduced from 18-24 months to 9-12 months.

In Chicago, IL, the GSA office has reinvented their work processes and eliminated non-essential tasks. They eliminated a two-step discrepancy process, improved delivery time while reducing costs, and reduced unnecessary paperwork. As a result, the Chicago Customer Service Team has been able to increase its customer base by 44 percent with no increase in staff.

Finally, in New York, NY, the customer supply team there changed contract rules to allow customers to purchase from other vendors if GSA could not deliver on time, thus eliminating months of waiting for an order. They also became more efficient by throwing away the 500-page quality control handbook, training all inspectors in statistical process control to assure quality on the front-end and equipping them with laptop computers.

The Hammer Award is given to federal employees who exemplify the principles of making government work better and cost less -- those who are breaking down unnecessary bureaucracy to build a better government.

Reinvention efforts at NASA are part of the Vice President's National Performance Review: Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less. The report is a detailed plan with hundreds of recommendations and costsavings reforms. About 80 percent of those recommendations already are being put in place across the federal government.