GORE ANNOUNCES INITIAL RESTRUCTURING
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AGENCIES
Review Calls for International Affairs Community to Change
for Demands of 21st Century
As part of the second phase of the National Performance Review,
which asks agencies to conduct a fundamental rethinking of what they do
and how they do it, Vice President Al Gore today (1/27) instructed four
foreign affairs agencies to establish common administrative services,
eliminate unnecessary and duplicative practices, and use the private
sector and competition to cut costs. It is anticipated the overall
review of international affairs programs and agencies will result in
savings of at least $5 billion over five yeras and a substantially
enhanced capacity to deliver more effective programs overseas and
provide value to the American taxpayer.
The review concluded that the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency, the Agency for International Development, and the United States
Information Agency are essential vehicles for the accomplishment of
their missions under the overall foreign policy guidance of the
Secretary of State.
"Today's decision is a major restructuring and integration of
the government's foreign affairs agencies," Vice President Gore said.
"It is an initial step in meeting President Clinton's challenge to
'eliminate the remnants of yesterday's government,' and preparing these
agencies to meet the demands of the 21st Century.'"
Specifically, today's review concluded:
the United States Information Agency will end government funding
for radio broadcasting in western Europe and cut staff and
reduce costs in its overseas operations. It will close five
USIA posts abroad in the next 12 months and consolidate and downsize
selected American centers in East Asia. The agency is also reducing
costs in book programs, eliminating selected publications and
developing new ways to finance overseas student advising and counseling
services. USIA will eliminate duplication in its information centers
and libraries and in its research activities, and further reduce
headquarters layering in its management bureau.
The Agency for International Development will close an
additional six missions beyond the 21 closings already announced as
part of the first phase of the National Performance
Review. It will reduce its project planning cycle from 27 to 6 months;
eliminate some of its more than 60 areas of management activity; expand
the use of paperless internal systems, cut internal regulations by 50
percent, and complete reengineering of its management systems by
October 1, 1995.
The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the Department of State
will eliminate duplication between their two agencies in the areas of
arms control and nonproliferation and take steps to
tie together the operations of ACDA and the State Department more
effectively. ACDA will also cut back on overseas costs and streamline
its operations in Washington.
State and USIA will initiate personnel exchanges so as to encourage
more effective liaison and closer policy coordination of public affairs
efforts. They will also take steps to consolidate their Inspectors General.
The State Department has initiated a Strategic Management Initiative
to accelerate its reinvention efforts. It will close 15 additional
overseas posts by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 1996, for a total of 32
post closings. In Washington, the Department will eliminate at least
one bureau and eliminate public affairs, congressional relations,
politico-military affairs and policy planning components of bureaus
where duplication exists.
"The President needs to continue to develop, negotiate and verify
effective arms control treaties; to communicate American values such as
democracy and free markets overseas; and to respond to humanitarian
emergencies and encourage sustainable development in other countries
when it is in the interest of the United States," the Vice President
said. "The restructuring of these agencies will help to make sure
those needs are met in the most efficient, effective way possible."
In addition to the changes already listed, the Vice President announced
today that he had:
Asked the President's Management Council to review the structure of
all government agencies operating overseas to increase the
effectiveness of the United States overseas and reduce costs wherever
possible. He asked the Council to report to him by April 15, 1995 on
specific steps that can be taken to streamline overseas operations,
reduce the costs of administrative services, and make better use of
information systems and communications technology.
Initiated a broader review of foreign affairs agencies by the National
Performance Review to take place over the coming months. "We are
asking basic questions about what will be required for effective
implementation of US foreign policy for the 21st century." The review
will seek ways to strengthen the role of the Secretary of State in
coordinating foreign policy and intensify reinvention and streamlining
efforts in the foreign affairs agencies. The review will streamline on
a fast track programs for arms control, disaster relief and refugees,
and public affairs; and by spring, personnel and programs to promote
democracy, sustainable development, and trade.
"The foreign affairs community needs to change to meet the demands of
the 21st Century and give taxpayers value for their money. The
community has begun the process of change," the Vice President said.
He thanked the Secretary of State Warren Christopher and the heads of
the Agency for International Development, the Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency and the United States Information Agency for their
reinvention initiatives and the impetus that they have given to the
second phase of the National Performance Review.
Calling for change, Secretary Christopher said "The current structure of
the foreign affairs agencies developed in a world much different from
today's. It must change to meet the demands of the next century. In an
era of growing challenges, but static or declining resources, all of
the foreign affairs agencies must streamline operations and match our
talents and budget to the highest U.S. priorities."