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                          THE WHITE HOUSE
   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 CONTACT: 202-456-7035

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 1994

               Gore Hears About Streamlined Programs
                Improved Customer Service Standards
        WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore and Office of 

Personnel Management Director Jim King today (7/13) met with OPM 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 Awards to representatives from OPM offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, Macon, GA, Honolulu, HI, Detroit, MI, Albuquerque, NM, Syracuse, NY, Raleigh, NC, Philadelphia, PA, San Antonio, TX, and St. Louis, MO.

"OPM reinvention efforts have moved the agency from red tape to results. Their work to bring down the wall of red tape, including the 10,000-page Federal Personnel Manual, sets an example for the rest of the federal government to follow. Their astounding success proves that we can empower federal employees to make decisions while still holding them accountable for the results. We can create a government that works better and costs less," the Vice President said.

"The naysayers were wrong," said OPM Director Jim King. "Reinvention at OPM is on target, on time, and pun intended, 'on-line', meaning that OPM is using technology to let job applicants locate employment opportunities and, in some cases, apply for federal jobs
using their home computer or telephone."

OPM employees who received Hammer Awards include representatives from the Sunset Project Team offices in San Francisco, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Washington, DC. Together, they worked to abolish the 10,000-page Federal Personnel Manual, leaving only necessary laws and regulations. By contrast, the unabridged dictionary, listing and defining every word in the English language, runs only about 2,000 pages.

The OPM Automation Staffing Team representatives from Macon, GA, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, Honolulu, HI, Detroit, MI, Albuquerque, NM, Syracuse, NY, Raleigh, NC, Philadelphia, PA, San Antonio, TX, and St. Louis, MO, were honored for their work to bring the federal job application procedure into the 21st Century. The team was able to drastically reduce the processing time for federal employment applications by streamlining and combining procedures into one system. For example, where an application for a job at the Immigration and Naturalization Services used to take eight weeks, it now takes about two weeks.

Representatives from the SF-171 Elimination Team in Washington, DC, also received a Hammer Award for their work to overhaul and improve the Application for Federal Employment. Members of this team, using customer input, identified fast, user-friendly methods of applying for federal jobs. Beginning January 1995, federal jobs applicants will be able to use resumes instead of the SF-171 form, and agencies will have the power to decide the best way to get information from those people.

Also from Washington, DC, representatives from the OPM Buyout Team were presented a Hammer Award for providing within 24 hours of the President signing the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, implementing instructions to all federal agencies. The act authorizes the payments of cash incentives for employees who leave federal service voluntarily, either by retirement or resignation. The timely guidance provided by the OPM Buyout Team facilitated agency processing of 15,000 buyouts so far this year. They expect more than 50,000 throughout the government next year.

Finally, representatives from the National Partnership Council in Washington, DC, received a Hammer Award for their groundbreaking leadership in developing partnerships between labor and management throughout the federal government. Since council members began their work in the fall of 1993, they have issued a report to the President offering options and recommendations for reform of the personnel system; developed a strategy to promote change that includes training, outreach and partnership assessment; and are about to issue a user-friendly handbook for developing partnerships.

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 OPM are part of the VicePresident'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.