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Improving government organization and performance : hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, March 11, 1993 online

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S. Hrg. 103-401

IMPROVING GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND
PERFORMANCE

Y 4. G 74/9: S. HRG. 103-401

Inproving Governnent Organization a..







HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MARCH 11, 1993



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs




-



APR1



9 V



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
65-990 cc WASHINGTON : 1994



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-043583-8



S. Hrg. 103-401

IMPROVING GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND
PERFORMANCE

Y4.G 74/9: S. HRG. 103-401

Inproving Covernnent Organization a...

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MARCH 11, 1993



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs







APR 1



9 r






U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
65-990 cc WASHINGTON : 1994



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-043583-8



COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

JOHN GLENN, Ohio, Chairman
SAM NUNN, Georgia WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware

CARL LEVIN, Michigan TED STEVENS, Alaska

JIM SASSER, Tennessee WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine

DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi

JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut JOHN McCAIN, Arizona

DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota

Leonard Weiss, Staff Director

David Plocher, Counsel

Mark Goldstein, Professional Staff Member

Franklin G. Polk, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel

Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk

(II)



CONTENTS



Opening statements: Page

Senator Glenn *

Senator Roth J

Senator Levin °

Senator Dorgan • j"

Senator Lieberman jj:

Senator Pryor j£

Senator McCain *~

Senator Stevens j'

Senator Cochran i8

Prepared statements:

Senator Sasser J?

Senator Kerrey dd

WITNESSES
Thursday, March 11, 1993

Hon Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from the State of Nevada 18

Hon Charles A. Bowsher, Comptroller General, U.S. General Accounting
Office; accompanied by William M. Hunt, Director of Federal Management

Issues; and David G. Mathiasen, Special Assistant 25

Leon E. Panetta, Director, Office of Management and Budget 41

David Osborne, Author of "Reinventing Government" .. o<

Martin L. Gross, Author of "The Government Racket: Washington Waste

from A to Z" •••••: : £>

Peri E. Arnold, Professor of Government, Notre Dame University b/

Alphabetical List of Witnesses

Arnold, Peri E.:

Testimony j?'

Prepared statement 1U °

Bowsher, Charles A.:

Testimony £?

Prepared statement B1

Gross, Martin L.:

Testimony jg

Prepared statement 1UU

Osborne, David: _

Testimony j>'

Prepared statement yd

Panetta, Leon A.:

Testimony £7

Prepared statement with attachments °'

Reid, Hon. Harry:

Testimony £°

Prepared statement iil

APPENDIX

Prepared statements of witnesses in order of appearance 81



(III)



IMPROVING GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION
AND PERFORMANCE



THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1993

U.S. Senate,
Committee on Governmental Affairs,

Washington, DC.

The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:32 a.m., in room
SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John Glenn, Chair-
man of the Committee, presiding.

Present: Senators Glenn, Levin, Pryor, Lieberman, Dorgan, Roth,
Stevens, Cochran and McCain.

Also present: Senator Kerrey.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR GLENN

Chairman Glenn. The hearing will be in order.

This morning, the Committee on Governmental Affairs meets to
consider the critical issue of improving the performance and organi-
zation of the Federal Government, a giant task, if there ever was
one.

At the same time I say it is a giant task, I also would say it is
a very unique opportunity, because rarely in our history have calls
for government reform come together in such a positive way. We
now have what may be just the right mix of political consensus and
public pressure to successfully overhaul the government.

Americans voted for change last November, and the need to
change government is one reason why. There is a profound feeling
in the country that government has not been doing its job — not just
that tax dollars are wasted, but that government cannot be counted
on to help improve the Nation's future or to support the current as-
pirations of ordinary Americans. This leads to the obvious question
of whether the present government organization can operate effec-
tively in these days.

Thus, I commend President Clinton for making a bold beginning,
for proposing an economic plan that focuses on investment and the
future, and for establishing a task force under the direction of Vice
President Gore to eliminate wasteful spending and streamline Fed-
eral programs.

Indeed, the Vice President's National Performance Review is per-
fectly complementary to the efforts that this Committee has long
been involved with, namely, the creation and support of inspectors
general and chief financial officers to fight waste and to improve
accountability for financial and general management.

The public demands we do more, and rightly so, and that is what
today's hearing is about. While Congress and the public hope the

(l)



President can take advantage of a 6-month government-wide per-
formance review, many of our problems are more complicated and
more substantial. They can only be solved through a comprehensive
and collective approach using the talents and experience of both
the Executive and Legislative Branches.

This broader effort is embodied in the four government reform
commission bills now before this Committee: S. 15 was introduced
by Senator Roth; S. 255 was introduced by Senator Campbell; S.
432 introduced by Senator Lieberman and cosponsored by Senator
Kerrey, who we are pleased to have with us today; and S. 101, my
bill, to establish a bipartisan commission to recommend changes
and to write legislation to streamline and reorganize government
to better focus on our Nation's needs.

In addition to these commission bills, the Committee has before
it Senator Krueger's legislation, S. 436, to statutorily create a gov-
ernment-wide performance review, like the President's, and Sen-
ator Reid's sunset bill that would require periodic reauthorization
of Federal programs. Indeed, we are pleased to have Senator Reid
who is going to be testifying before the Committee today.

A number of years ago this Committee did a lot of work on the
sunset and zero-based budgeting concepts and passed legislation
through the Senate, but failed to get House agreement. At the be-
ginning of this year, I asked the staff to review those previous ef-
forts with a view toward implementing them now, so I am particu-
larly glad to have Senator Reid's bill before us.

Each of these pieces of legislation will be considered by the Com-
mittee and will contribute much to our deliberations.

I am sure we are all a bit suspicious of grand plans and commis-
sions. Grand plans and commissions, how many we have heard of.
Too many of them have come and gone, leaving behind dashed
hopes and recommendations collecting dust on many, many
shelves. But every now and then, the time is right.

The time was right 45 years ago, when a commission led by
former President Herbert Hoover successfully streamlined a gov-
ernment grown too large and disorganized through the trials of the
Great Depression and later World War II. Many of the changes rec-
ommended by the Hoover Commission were approved by the Con-
gress, and they were approved because of a consensus that we
needed a more effective government for what was clearly a chang-
ing world.

I believe the time is also right today. All of us are well aware
that our Nation and our world are changing rapidly. And we are
equally aware or should be aware that a government still largely
organized for the Great Depression and later the Cold War cannot
possibly help America meet the challenges of today or of the future.

Farming has been completely transformed in the past half-cen-
tury. Yet, the Agriculture Department still retains an office, some-
times several offices, in nearly every county in the Nation. Job
training and development is of paramount importance to America's
retaining a competitive edge in a global economy, but our citizens
must wade through a bewildering array of 125 different job pro-
grams funded from 48 different sources in 14 different agencies,
just to try to get help.



Now, does this mean we go to a more mission oriented-type orga-
nization of government? I do not know, but I know that we are not
doing the proper job when we have an organization like this in gov-
ernment right now. That is just one example.

I know, as I am sure my colleagues know, that reforming the
government historically has proven to be very, very difficult. And
while a credible effort by a commission will by its nature be con-
troversial, this does not relieve us of the obligation to improve the
government's performance of its responsibilities to its citizens.

I believe a commission, with a mechanism to ensure congres-
sional action on its recommendations, can do much for long-term
reform. I also believe, however, that there is much to be done now.
In addition to continuing the work begun by the Inspectors General
and Chief Financial Officers Acts, we can institute reforms for
which there already exists a consensus.

One such initiative would improve the performance of Federal
programs, and is an effort that is critical to restoring government's
public credibility. To his credit, Senator Roth has long been a lead-
er in submitting legislation in this area, and I think that S. 20,
which is the result of our work together over the past year or so
in this Committee, will help bring a more meaningful and effective
approach to the role and responsibilities of government. S. 20
unanimously passed the Senate in the last Congress, and I am cer-
tain it will pass again. We look forward to working with the House
and the administration to quickly enact this important bill.

With us this morning to testify is our colleague Senator Harry
Reid from Nevada. He will be followed by the Honorable Leon Pa-
netta — although Leon may be a little late, he is over in the House
testifying this morning and may not be here until about 10:30, so
we may change the order a little bit. But if he arrives, we will take
him on. He is Director of the Office of Management and Budget,
of course, and he will discuss the new National Performance Re-
view, as well as our longer-term commission proposals and our per-
formance measurement legislation, S. 20. Also testifying is the
Honorable Charles Bowsher, Comptroller General of the United
States, who has appeared before our Committee many, many times.

Our final panel has Mr. David Osborne, author of "Reinventing
Government," Mr. Martin Gross, author of "The Government Rack-
et: Washington Waste From A to Z," and Professor Peri Arnold of
the University of Notre Dame, who is an expert on the history of
Executive Branch reorganization.

So we welcome you all this morning and look forward to your tes-
timony this morning.

Prepared Statement of Senator Glenn

This morning, the Committee on Governmental Affairs meets to consider the criti-
cal issue of improving the performance and organization of the Federal Government.

We have a unique opportunity. Rarely in our history have calls for governmental
reform come together in such a positive way — we now have what may be just the
right mix of political consensus and public pressure to successfully overhaul the gov-
ernment.

Americans voted for change last November, and the need to change government
is one reason why. There is a profound feeling in the country that government
hasn't been doing its job— not just that tax dollars are wasted, but that government
cannot be counted on to help improve the Nation's future or to support the current



aspirations of ordinary Americans. This leads to the obvious question of whether the
present government organization can operate effectively in these days.

Thus, I commend President Clinton for making a bold beginning, for proposing an
economic plan that focuses on investment and the future, and for establishing a task
force under the direction of Vice President Gore to eliminate wasteful spending and
streamline Federal programs. Indeed, the Vice President's National Performance Re-
view is perfectly complementary to the efforts that this Committee has long been
involved with, namely the creation and support of Inspectors General and Chief Fi-
nancial Officers to fight waste and to improve accountability for financial and gen-
eral management.

Yet, the public demands we do more. And that is what today's hearing is about.
While Congress and the public hope the President can take full advantage of a 6-
month government-wide performance review, many of our problems are more com-

[>licated and substantial. They can only be solved through a comprehensive and col-
ective approach using the talents and experience of both the Executive and Legisla-
tive Branches. This broader effort is embodied in the four government reform com-
mission bills now before this Committee:

— S. 15, introduced by Senator Roth;

— S. 255, introduced by Senator Campbell;

— S. 432, introduced by Senator Lieberman, and co-sponsored by Senator Kerrey,
who we are pleased to have with us today; and

— S. 101, my bill to establish a bipartisan commission to recommend changes, and
to write legislation to streamline and reorganize government to better focus on our
Nation's needs.

In addition to these commission bills, the Committee has before it Senator
Krueger's legislation (S. 436) to statutorily create a government-wide performance
review (like the President's), and Senator Reid's sunset bill that would require peri-
odic reauthorization of Federal programs — indeed, we are pleased to have Senator
Reid here today to testify before the Committee.

A number of years ago, this Committee did a lot of work on the sunset and zero
based budgeting concepts, and passed legislation through the Senate, but failed to
get House agreement. At the beginning of this year, I asked the staff to review those
previous efforts, with a view toward implementing, so I'm particularly glad to have
Senator Reid's bill before us.

Each of these pieces of legislation will be considered by the Committee and will
contribute much to our deliberations.

I am sure that we are all a bit suspicious of grand plans and commissions — too
many of them have come and gone, leaving behind dashed hopes and recommenda-
tions collecting dust on a shelves. But every now and then, the time is right. The
time was right 45 years ago, when a commission led by former President Herbert
Hoover successfully streamlined a government grown too large and disorganized
through the trials of the Great Depression and World War II. Many of the changes
recommended by the Hoover Commission were approved by the Congress — and they
were approved because of a consensus that we needed a more effective government
for what was clearly a changing world.

The time is also right today. All of us are well aware that our Nation and our
world are changing rapidly. And we are equally aware — or should be aware — that
a government still largely organized for the Great Depression and later the Cold
War cannot possibly help America meet the challenges of today or of the future.

Farming has been completely transformed in the past half-century, yet the Agri-
culture Department still retains an office, sometimes several offices, in nearly every
county in the Nation. Job training and development is of paramount importance to
America's retaining a competitive edge in a global economy, but our citizens must
wade through a bewildering array of 125 different job programs to get help.

I know, as I am sure my colleagues know, that reforming the government histori-
cally has proven to be very difficult. And while a credible effort by a commission
will by its nature be controversial, this does not relieve us of the obligation to im-
prove the government's performance of its responsibilities to its citizens.

I believe a commission — with a mechanism to ensure congressional action on its
recommendations — can do much for long term reform. I also believe, however, that
there is much to be done now. In addition to continuing the work begun by the IG
and CFO Acts, we can institute reforms for which there already exists a consensus.

One such initiative would improve the performance of Federal programs, and is
an effort that is critical to restoring government's public credibility. Senator Roth
has long been a leader in submitting legislation in this area and I think that S. 20,
which is the result of our work together on the Committee, will help bring a more
meaningful and effective approach to the role and responsibilities of government.



S 20 unanimously passed the Senate in the last Congress, and I am certain it will
pass again. We look forward to working with the House and the Administration to
quickly enact this important bill. .

With us this morning to testify is our colleague, Senator Harry Reid from Nevada.
He will be followed by the Honorable Leon Panetta, director of the Office of Manage-
ment and Budget, who will discuss the new National Performance Review, as well
as our longer-term commission proposals and our performance measurement legisla-
tion, S. 20. Also testifying is the Honorable Charles Bowsher, Comptroller General
of the United States, who has appeared before our Committee many times. Our final
panel has Mr. David Osborne, author of "Reinventing Government," Mr. Martin
Gross, author of "The Government Racket: Washington Waste From A to Z, and
Professor Peri Arnold of the University of Notre Dame, who is an expert on the his-
tory of Executive Branch reorganization. We welcome you all.

Senator Glenn. At this point, without objection, I wish to place
in the record a summary of my bill, S. 101, Executive Organization
Reform Act. Also, without objection, we will place in the record an
opening statement by Senator Sasser on performance review, and
a statement by Senator Sasser with comments about the Corps of
Engineers.

Summary of Executive Organization Reform Act— S. 101

PURPOSE— S. 101 would establish a National Commission on Executive Organi-
zation Reform to:

(1) Develop criteria for reorganizing the Executive Branch;

(2) Propose agency reorganizations, including consolidations or eliminations ot

agencies; . ... e

(3) Propose program reorganizations, including consolidations or eliminations ot

programs; and , .

(4) Propose improvements in the capacity and performance ot the Executive

branch in accomplishing its missions.
MEMBERSHIP— The bipartisan commission would have 12 members:

• 4 appointed by the President (2 of a different political party)— the President
also designates 1 member as Chair;

• 2 appointed by the Speaker of the House (1 must be a Representative);

• 2 appointed by the Senate Majority Leader (1 must be a Senator);

• 2 appointed by Minority Leader of the House (1 must be a Representative); and

• 2 appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate (1 must be a Senator).

REPORT AND TIMING— Within 18 months of its first meeting, the Commission
provides reform recommendations, including necessary statutory language. The re-
port is transmitted to the President who approves or disapproves it. If President ap-
proves, report goes to the Congress. If President disapproves, he notifies Congress
of objections. The Commission may revise report to address Presidents objections,
and then transmits final report to the Congress. The Commission may include rec-
ommendations to which the President objects.

Twenty session days after Congress receives the final report, a joint resolution
containing the Commissions recommendations becomes the pending business. It
must be considered on an expedited basis, with no amendments possible.



Prepared Statement of Senator Sasser

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate our panelists taking time out of their
schedules to appear before the Committee for the second time this year. If there is
a cause that merits their continued involvement with the Committee, this is cer-
tainly it.

I congratulate the Chairman and Ranking Member, Senator Roth, for addressing
the important issue of performance review, and for doing it, I might add, long before
performance review was a national topic of any significance.

I am excited about the possibilities for genuine reform that are available to Vice
President Gore and the National Performance Review he is undertaking. He would
do well to follow closely today's proceedings with an eye toward benefitting from this
Committee's experience.



I look forward to today's testimony as do all who are interested in making govern-
ment more efficient. I am anxious to hear what Mr. Panetta has to say about the
concept of performance budgeting.

While I'm somewhat skeptical about any overnight cures for the budget process,
I will listen with an open mind to any new ideas that might eminate from today's
hearing. Having spent all day yesterday in the Senate Budget Committee's mark-
up, I assure you there is room for improvement in the way Congress makes spend-
ing decisions.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

COMMENT TO MR. BOWSHER ABOUT THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS

General Bowsher, I appreciate your being here this morning to share your exper-
tise about ways to make our government more efficient.

It has been brought to my attention that one way to consolidate one area of gov-
ernment and reduce some significant duplication of services may be to remove the
civilian branch of the Army's Corps of Engineers into the civilian sector of govern-
ment, possibly into the Department of the Interior.

As you know, the Corps of Engineers are already the Chief Engineers for the Fed-
eral Government. In my home State of Tennessee, the Corps did the design and con-
struction of a number of locks for the Tennessee Valley Authority. They are also ex-
perts in hazardous waste clean-up. All over the country they perform clean water
studies, set up erosion control systems, maintain intercoastal waterways, and carry
out hundreds of other important tasks.

During this time when we are searching for ways to make our government more
efficient, I believe that converting the civilian branches of the Army Corps of Engi-
neers into a national Corps of Engineers is an idea worth considering. Why should
government agencies have to contract with the Army to perform essentially civilian
tasks?

I would appreciate your taking the time to consider such a proposal and I look
forward to working with you in the near future.

Chairman Glenn. Senator Roth.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROTH

Senator Roth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate you for holding
what I consider could well be the most important hearings on the
most important action taken by Congress in its present term.

I know there is a lot of debate about should we raise taxes or
not, should we raise spending or cut spending. But what the Amer-
ican people are interested in is in better government. They see gov-
ernment as the problem, rather than solution, and what they want
is reform. The real question I think before us today, the key ques-
tion before us today is whether or not, to borrow a phrase from Dr.
Osborne, do we have the courage to reinvent government.

The problem with government today is that for every program we
create a new bureaucracy, layers of bureaucracy which become
mired down in regulations, rules and process, when the real ques-
tion should be service, service to our constituents, our customers.
That is what these hearings are all about. We have got to make
radical change.

Mr. Chairman, like you, I congratulate the President and our
Vice President on the steps that were taken last week to bring
about an audit of our various departments and agencies with the
goal of bringing improvement and efficiency.

It is a critical step, it is a positive step, because it means that
action can take place now, and I look forward, as I know as do you,
in working with the administration, with our former colleague Al
Gore on this most important matter.



But complementary to that action is the need to make radical re-


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveImproving government organization and performance : hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, March 11, 1993 → online text (page 1 of 17)