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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 3, 1998

              Reviews Accomplishments of Last Five Years:
              348,000 Federal Jobs Cut, $137 Billion Saved

Washington, DC -- Marking the fifth anniversary of his reinventing government initiative, Vice President Gore today announced that 10 Federal agencies will meet specific commitments to improve customer service.*

Speaking at the Old Executive Office Building, the Vice President also launched "Conversations with America" -- an effort through which the Administration will reach out to hear from the American people what they want done to improve customer service and achieve the results they care about. With that in mind, President Clinton today directed agency heads to hold such conversations.

In addition, the Vice President reviewed the accomplishments of the last five years to reinvent government. They include initiatives that have saved taxpayers $137 billion to date and reductions in the Federal workforce of 348,000 people, compared to the level when the President and Vice President took office.

"We've made lots of progress over the last five years, and the American people are beginning to see the results," the Vice President said. "But we still have a long way to go. We are determined to better serve our customers -- the American people -- and we are making specific commitments to do so."

In its first five years, the Vice President's National Performance Review (NPR) focused on streamlining government, cutting red tape, and saving taxpayer dollars. Now, in its sixth year, the NPR (now known officially as the National Partnership for Reinventing Government) will focus on further improving customer service and achieving results that Americans care about.

At today's event, customers of four Federal agencies told the Vice President about their positive experiences from the service they received as customers, while the heads of those agencies announced the specific commitments they are making to improve customer service over the next few years.

Jane Barton of Mesa, Ariz., a widow with three daughters, spoke glowingly of the service she received over the phone from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Kelly Smith, the chief financial officer of Replacements Ltd. In Greensboro, N.C., told of why he chose the U.S. Postal Service over Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and other carriers -- its better prices and dependability.

Dennis Eggebraaten, a police lieutenant from Grand Forks, N.D., raved about the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) service after he became a victim of last year's Red River floods.

Yutiv Lipscomb, a former welfare recipient, spoke of how the Labor Department's (DOL) One-Stop Career Centers helped to provide training and employment services.

In addition, the Vice President acknowledged the major improvements in customer service at six other agencies, all of whom have also made specific commitments to further improve service in the coming years.

* For detailed information on the specific commitments, please see "Reinventing Government to Get Results Americans Care About," in today's packet of materials.