View Header
                          THE WHITE HOUSE


                     PRESIDENT SIGNS INTO LAW
              NPR Initiative To Dramatically Improve
          How Government Purchases, Save Taxpayers Money
        WASHINGTON -- Marking another milestone in making 

government work for ordinary people, President Clinton today (10/13) signed into law the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 to dramatically improve how the federal government purchases items and to save taxpayers $12.3 billion over the next five years.

"Today I am proud to announce that our procurement laws are becoming more sensible," President Clinton said. "The changes we are announcing today will require the government to get better value for taxpayers' dollars in the products and services it buys, strengthen our national security and our economy. Gone are the days of the $54 stapler."

Vice President Gore said, "When I was preparing the National Performance Review, I listened carefully to rank and file federal employees. No matter where they worked, they had one message -- fix the federal procurement system. And that's exactly what we've done through the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act -- an historic bill that will cut red tape and save taxpayers billions of dollars."

The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act is part of Vice President Gore's National Performance Review: Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less, which he presented to President Clinton last year. It is designed to overhaul the cumbersome and complex procurement system of the federal government, which required as much as $50 worth of paperwork for small purchases and weeks -- sometimes even months -- of waiting between order and delivery of goods.

For example, under the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, expensive red tape that accompanies purchases under $100,00 will be dramatically reduced, including eliminating special government contract clauses that make it more difficult for companies to do business with the government. In addition, for items that cost less than $2,500, frontline managers will be able to shop for the best deal without unnecessary bureaucracy using a government-issued purchase card so that purchases can be traced and paperwork kept to a minimum.

In addition, the old procurement system virtually forced defense contractors to develop practices and products that were unique to the military. This divided American industry into defense and non-defense sectors. That meant the American military paid higher prices and faced difficulty in getting state-of-the-art technologies that were available in the commercial marketplace.

"The reforms announced today will allow the military to purchase goods in the commercial marketplace, strengthening our national security and allowing our military to have the best equipment in the world -- on time and at competitive cost," President Clinton said.

Procurement reform also will improve opportunities for small businesses. A provision of the legislation reserves purchases of between $2,500 - $100,000 for them, and sets a goal that at least 5 percent of all purchases will be from small businesses owned by women.