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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 18, 1997


Reinventing STATE, ACDA, USIA and AID

The era of big government is over. -- Bill Clinton

President Clinton's plan brings an end to bureaucracies originally designed for the Cold War, streamlines the Executive Branch's policy-making process, and enhances our nation's ability to meet the growing foreign policy challenges of the 21st century. It puts matters of international arms control, sustainable development, and public diplomacy where they belong, at the heart of our foreign policy within a reinvented Department of State. It incorporates key lessons from the private sector.

The Plan:

The State Department will undertake a new round of internal reinvention to incorporate new organizations and to manage new responsibilities. This reinvention will make the new State Department more effective and efficient and better able to defend American interests and promote American values abroad.

The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency will be fully integrated with State within one year by merging both agencies' related arms control and nonproliferation functions. The ACDA Director will be double-hatted as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and then the two positions will be merged as Under Secretary/Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary of State, which will be able to communicate with the President through the Secretary of State. ACDA's unique advocacy role will be preserved and the policy process supporting those efforts will be strengthened through additional interagency responsibilities. Along with ACDA's technical and policy expertise, its verification, compliance, and legal functions will be preserved.

The United States Information Agency and the State Department will be integrated over a two year period. During that process, the Director of USIA will be double-hatted as the new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. This process will likely begin with an integration of related functions, such as legislative and public affairs; after that, the integration process will turn toward USIA's overseas press expertise and State's press offices. The distinctiveness and editorial integrity of Voice of America and the broadcast agencies will be respected. A new bureau will be created within the State Department to handle cultural and exchange issues.

The Agency for International Development will remain a distinct agency, but will share certain administrative functions with State and will report to and be under the direct authority and foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State. Within two years, AID will integrate its press office and certain administrative functions. The International Development Cooperation Agency, created in 1979, will be abolished. The Secretary of State and AID administrator will recommend what further steps might be taken to eliminate duplication.

The President's plan was the result of a long and deliberative process under the leadership of Vice President Gore. This reorganization plan enjoys the support of the Secretary of State and the heads of ACDA, AID and USIA. In developing this plan, the Vice President worked from three guiding principles:

The programs of ACDA, USIA, and AID must be preserved. Sustainable development, nonproliferation, and public diplomacy are now more central than ever to American foreign policy; our institutional arrangements should reflect that. Moreover, there is no better time than the present to launch this process, at the outset of a new term, a new Congress, and with a new Secretary of State.

Complexities must be fully acknowledged. Reinvention and integration should take into account the central and continuing importance of reform of all of the agencies including the State Department, the relative complexity of the smaller agencies and anticipated level of difficulty in merging and integrating them, and the need to preserve the unique skills and capabilities inherent in each of the agencies. Any reorganization plan should be designed around our greatest strength -- the abilities and expertise of the dedicated public servants who work in those agencies.

The Executive and Legislative Branches must cooperate on foreign affairs. The need for reorganization in the foreign policy agencies is also recognized by key members of Congress. Their views and expertise on these matters should inform our process. Our ability to work together with the Congress on this endeavor should encourage our bipartisan approach toward foreign policy matters.

After much deliberation, the plan the Vice President devised strikes a sound balance between the need for greater policy coherence and effectiveness with the necessity of preserving the special missions and skills of the three smaller agencies.

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