THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY PRESS SECRETARY ON CONSOLIDATION AND REFORM
Two years ago this Administration began a broad effort to 'reinvent' the federal government, to make it work better and cost less. That reinvention effort extends across every department and agency of the federal government, including the State Department and other foreign affairs agencies, including AID, ACDA, and USIA.
The process of reinvention, initiated by President Clinton, continues. Earlier this year, the National Performance Review, headed by Vice President Gore, entered Phase II of its operations: a sweeping review of every program in every agency of the government. We are already well into the review process.
In recent months, Vice President Gore's National Performance Review team has worked closely with the Secretary of State and other agency heads to support the need for substantial reform of the nation's foreign affairs apparatus. The administration's reinvention efforts are resulting in the closing of nearly forty overseas posts and missions, elimination of hundreds of high level positions, and millions of dollars of savings.
However, the Administration rejects the notion that 'consolidation' equals reform. We believe that the missions of arms control, public diplomacy, and sustainable development and humanitarian assistance are essential elements in the conduct of foreign policy. We also believe that these missions are best pursued by lean, effective organizations operating under the foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State, not as part of a mega-bureaucracy.
We expect that Congress will agree.