View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release July 21, 1995


In their continuing effort to make government more responsive to the American people and less bureaucratic, President Clinton and Vice President Gore today (7/21) released the first in a series of federal agency reports that target for elimination or simplification unnecessary and burdensome regulations that affect such areas as small business, housing, and education.

"Without stripping away regulations that protect and improve people's lives, we have shown today that it is possible to reform the regulatory system so that it's less intrusive and more responsive to the American people," the President said. "By eliminating and streamlining unnecessary, burdensome and duplicative regulations, the federal government saves money and meddles less in the lives of citizens."

Changes at the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the Small Business Administration were highlighted today in the first in a series of announcements of reforms at 28 federal regulatory agencies. These reforms include not only the results of a zero-based review of the agency regulations, but also highlight agency activities to partner with their regulated communities and to change the way they measure their success to focus on results. Governmentwide, the reforms are expected to result in the elimination of more than 16,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the streamlining of regulations in an additional 31,000 pages.

The Vice President said, "Under the leadership of President Clinton, heads of regulatory agencies are empowered to make necessary changes and experiment with new systems while still being held accountable for the results. In addition, we're improving the relationship between regulators and the people they regulate to achieve our goal of a robust economy without sacrificing protections for our citizens."

Today's announcement is the result of President Clinton's directive to the heads of all regulatory agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of their rules to identify obsolete and burdensome regulations, then eliminate or revise them. The President instructed the agencies to ask themselves these questions as they conducted the review: Is this regulation obsolete? Could its intended goal be achieved in more efficient, less intrusive ways? Are there private sector alternatives, such as market mechanisms, that can better achieve the public good envisioned by the regulation? Could private business, setting its own standard while still being held accountable for the results, do the job as well? Could the states or local governments do the job, making federal regulation unnecessary?

In addition, the President instructed agencies to:

Reward results, not red tape -- Change the way that they measure performance so that the focus is on results, not process and punishment;

Get out of Washington and create grassroots partnerships -- Convene groups of front-line regulators and affected citizens at sites throughout the country, rather than have lawyers here in Washington talk to other lawyers in Washington; and

Negotiate, don't dictate -- Work with the regulated community during the development of regulations to promote a better understanding of the issues and develop a less adversarial environment.

Finally, the President authorized regulatory agencies to waive up to 100 percent of punitive fines on a small business if it corrects the violation within an appropriate time and/or offer the small business an opportunity to avoid punitive action by applying any fine levied towards correcting the violation leading to the fine. He also instructed agencies to cut in half the frequency of many regulatory reports required by the federal government.

The reports include the agencies' responses to these directives. Additional reports will be released in the future.