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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release December 5, 1994

In another step toward making government more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, Vice President Al Gore today joined with federal officials and Oregon state and local leaders to sign an agreement that will redesign and test an outcomes-based approach to intergovernmental service delivery and create a new federal- state-local partnership that could serve as a model for improvements nationwide.

"Today's agreement directs the federal government to provide more flexibility to state and local governments in administering programs in return for a shared commitment to produce results for the American people," Vice President Gore said. "Creating this new intergovernmental partnership will help to ensure that broad goals are met while allowing programs to be tailored to meet real local needs."

The Vice President was joined at today's event by Administration Cabinet Secretaries Donna Shalala (HHS), Henry Cisneros (HUD), and Janet Reno (DOJ); Director of National Drug Control Policy Lee Brown; Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts; Multnomah County Chair Beverly Stein; Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse; and Congressman Ron Wyden. Simultaneously via satellite were Portland Mayor Vera Katz, National Association of Counties President Randy Franke; Oregon League of Cities President Charles Vars; and Oregon Association of Counties President Steve Cornacchia.

Together, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Oregon Option, which calls for improvements in the delivery of intergovernmental programs to achieve better results for citizens. The MoU calls for an identification of benchmarks and strategies that measure the results of programs; an orientation to customer needs and satisfaction; a commitment to prevention rather than remediation of problems; and a simplified and integrated delegation of responsibilities for service design, delivery and results, as much as possible, to front-line, local-level providers. In addition to the Administration Cabinet Secretaries who joined the Vice President at the ceremony, the MoU also was signed by Secretaries Ron Brown (DOC), Michael Espy (DOA), Robert Reich (DOL), Richard Riley (DOE), and Office of Management and Budget Director Alice Rivlin.

Oregon is one of the states farthest along in using outcomes to establish a long-range vision, design services and measure results. For example, Oregon measures the teen pregnancy rate, not the number of clients served; and whether the air and water are getting cleaner, not the number of environmental regulations.

"Rather than defining accountability by inputs, transactions, error rates, and failure to progress, the federal, government should hold state and local governments accountable for performance," the Vice President said. "That's exactly what we've done today. Oregon now has the flexibility it needs to make decisions and put in place innovative programs while still being held accountable for the results. It's a partnership that could serve as a model for improvements nationwide."

The Oregon Option was proposed in July 1994 as a multi-year demonstration with the federal government to redesign intergovernment al service delivery, structured and operated to achieve measurable results that will improve the lives of Oregonians.