THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE HOSTS GLOBAL FORUM ON REINVENTING GOVERNMENT Announces New Efforts to Improve Government Service and Help The Nation's Children
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore today opened the first-ever global conference on reinventing government, a meeting that included high-level representatives from nearly 40 countries, and announced three key government reinvention initiatives in his effort to reinvent government -- civil service improvement, children's well-being and measuring customer satisfaction.
"Reinvention is based on this fundamental truth: we can achieve our highest democratic ideals only by using practical approaches that unleash the energy of ordinary citizens," Vice President Gore said.
In the conference keynote address, the Vice President detailed three new initiatives:
Civil Service Improvement: Vice President Gore announced new efforts to help the federal government improve relations between workers and managers to help them deal with poor performers. He announced legislative proposals that would: permit flexible pay systems so pay can be more performance-oriented, allow all agencies to evaluate their managers, and provide agencies with flexible policies for hiring and retaining a high-quality workforce. Results for Children: The Vice President announced new efforts to cut red tape and meet the needs of America's children. The federal government will enter into ten partnerships with state and local governments that will increase their flexibility in using federal program dollars. These will focus on using indicators that reliably chart measurable improvements in the lives of children. The flexibility given to partnership communities will enable them to save significant dollars which can then be devoted to the well-being of children. Customer Satisfaction Survey: A recent survey taken at Vice President Gore's request showed that 75% of agency employees say their agency has a customer focus. Today, the Vice President called for the next step, asking the 32 agencies that serve over 90% of the government's customers to participate in a government-wide "customer satisfaction survey" that will compare the quality of their service to that of the private sector. The conference, "A Global Forum on Reinventing Government," was
organized to bring together officials who understand the vital link between efficient government and a prosperous economy and are eager to share ideas and effective practices for improving government service.
At the start of the Clinton/Gore Administration, President Clinton asked Vice President Gore to work with federal employees to make the United States government work better and cost less. As a result of reinventing government initiatives led by the Vice President, the U.S. government has eliminated 250 outdated government programs, slashed more than 16,000 pages of regulations, cut more than 640,000 pages of internal rules, helped balance the federal budget for the first time in 30 years by saving more than $137 billion, and reduced the federal workforce by more than 345,000 employees, creating the smallest federal government -- as a percentage of the total workforce -- since the 1930's.
"A Global Forum on Reinventing Government" is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Innovations in American Government program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the National Partnership for Reinventing Government in the Office of the Vice President of the United States, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the United States Information Agency.