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                            THE WHITE HOUSE
                      OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
   For Immediate Release                          December 5, 1994
                      TO REINVENT GOVERNMENT
         GAO Praises National Performance Review Efforts,
                    Calls For Continued Action
        WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore said a GAO report 

released today (12/5) that praises the progress of the National Performance Review reflects this Administration's hard work and continued commitment to make government work better and cost less for the American people.

"President Clinton and I are committed to making the federal government more responsive to the American people. We have made real progress toward that goal in the past 14 months, as the GAO recognizes, and we agree with the agency that reinventing government initiatives should be implemented as quickly as possible," the Vice President said.

Vice President Gore presented the National Performance Review, a comprehensive review of the entire federal government, to President Clinton in September 1993. It made hundreds of recommendations aimed at cutting unnecessary red tape and burdensome regulations, empowering federal employees to make decisions while holding them accountable for the results, and putting the federal government's customers -- the American people -- first.

Today's GAO report evaluated the first year's implementation of the National Performance Review. The GAO concluded that "the potential benefits from a change in government management are great and we are encouraged by the initial progress that has been made." It also stated the GAO's "general agreement with most of the recommendations illustrates our support for the Administration's effort and our belief that the vast majority of the recommendations should be implemented as quickly as possible."

The report categorizes the 384 major recommendations of the initial 1993 NPR report and describes their findings regarding the implementation of each recommendation. The GAO findings show that progress has been made, although it will take years to fully implement all of the recommendations. The report found that at least some action has been taken to implement 93 percent of the 384 recommendations -- legislation was enacted regarding at least 83 recommendations and at least 86 recommendations were acted on via executive orders, presidential memoranda/directives or other types of presidential action.

This is the second GAO report on the National Performance Review. The GAO's December 1993 report said that NPR emphasized many of the basic themes that the GAO had stressed for years and that they generally agreed with most of the recommendations. Today's reassessment of NPR's recommendations "has generally confirmed that level of agreement." The GAO now "agrees" or "generally agrees" with more than three-fourths (295) of the 384 NPR recommendations.

Today's report emphasized three themes that continue to be crucial to the long-range success of the NPR effort:

  1. a partnership between the Administration and Congress 2) attention to agencies' capacity to take on additional responsibility and 3) the need for "sustained attention" from top political and career leadership in the government.

The GAO report also called on Congress to make changes in its authorization, appropriations and oversight activities. "For example, some agencies' missions are legislatively defined in multiple and sometimes conflicting ways," the report stated. The GAO cites the Agency for International Development, which has about 40 legislative missions, as one example.