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Nomination of James Barton King : hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on nomination of James Barton King to be Director, Office of Personnel Management, March 30, 1993 online

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S. Hrg. 103-^32

NOMINATION OF JAMES BARTON KING



Y 4. G 74/9: S. HRG. 103-432

Koninatiofl of Janes Barton Kinq, S

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION
ON

NOMINATION OF JAMES BARTON KING TO BE DIRECTOR. OFFICE OF

PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT



MARCH 30, 1993



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs







^"''^5,554



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
66-733 cc WASHINGTON : 1994

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-043686-9



S. Hrg. 103-^32

NOMINATION OF JAMES BARTON KING



Y 4. G 74/9: S. HRG, 103-432

Koninatiofl of Janes Barton King, S

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

ON

NOMINATION OF JAMES BARTON KING TO BE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF

PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT



MARCH 30, 1993



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affzurs







APRi



■S :.v,



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
66-733 cc WASHINGTON : 1994

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-043686-9



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

Doris M. Clanton, Assistant Counsel

Jane J. McFarland, Professional Staff

Franklin G. Polk, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel

Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk

(H)



CONTENTS



Opening statement:

Senator Glenn 1

Senator Roth 2

Senator Akaka 4

Senator Stevens 4

Prepared statement:

Senator Stevens 4

Senator Kennedy 5

Senator Pryor 17

WITNESSES



Tuesday, March 30, 1993

Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Senator from the State of Massachusetts 5

Hon. John F. Kerry, U.S. Senator frx)m the State of Massachusetts 5

James Barton King, to be Director, Office of Personnel Management 7

Biographical and financial information 31

Responses to pre-hearing questions 45

Responses to additional pre-hesiring questions from Senator Lieberman ... 77

Responses to additional pre-hearing questions from Senator Roth 78



(III)



NOMINATION OF JAMES BARTON KING TO BE
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MAN-
AGEMENT



TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 1993

U.S. Senate,
Committee on Governmental Affairs,

Washington, DC.

The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m., in room
SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John Glenn, chair-
man of the committee, presiding.

Present: Senators Glenn, Pryor, Akaka, Dorgan, Roth, Stevens,
Cochran, and McCain. , ^ ,

Staff Present: Doris Clanton, Jane McFariand, Deborah Cohen
(Senator Glenn); Susanne Marshall, Jeff Steger (Senator Roth); Ed-
ward Gleiman (Senator Pryor); and Pat Butler (Senator Stevens).

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN GLENN

Chairman Glenn. Today, the Committee on Governmental Af-
fairs meets to consider the nomination of James Barton King to be
Director of the Office of Personnel Management, 0PM, as we refer

to it. .

To begin, I would hke to make a few comments on the impor-
tance of this position that Mr. King, if confirmed, will occupy. The
Committee on Governmental Affairs strives to promote Govern-
ment efficiency, economy and effectiveness— good Government, if
you will. An important ingredient for good Government certainly is
in its human resources — Federal employees who must design and
implement the policy for Federal management.

The Director of 0PM is the chief personnel officer of the civilian
workforce of the United States. The responsibiUties and challenges
facing our workforce are indeed enormous. One of the biggest goals
of the Clinton administration is to change the face of the Federal
workforce, and we need to do more with less and develop a civil
service that is service-oriented and, as they talk about it, customer-
driven. 4. J i.

The care and maintenance of our workforce must be entrusted tx)
a Director of 0PM that is resourceful and energetic and ready to
meet the challenges of the position. Otherwise, the Government
will not be able to provide for the welfare of the people that we are

supposed to accomplish. /. . v /-•

At the beginning of the year, as is the custom of the Govern-
mental Affairs Committee, U.S. Comptroller General Charles
Bowsher of the General Accounting Office testified regarding the

(1)



transition series reports and the high risk, or the critical issues fac-
ing the Federal Government, and he told us that investment in
human resources for Government operations is one of those critical
issues.

As we stress change, led by the American people, it is important
to remember that our Federal workforce is comprised of dedicated,
hard-working American people. It is neither faceless nor hopeless.
It is things like the postal carrier who rings your doorbell to tell
you you have an important package, or it is the research doctor
who is struggling to help find a cure for AIDS. It is the clerk at
the Social Security office who makes certain that the Social Secu-
rity check goes out, and it is the forest ranger and park ranger who
put out the fires and find the lost kids at the National park.

Our budget deficit and fiscal challenges and our efforts to
downsize and restructure should never cause the Congress or the
President to underestimate or undervalue the many dedicated civil
servants to whom we owe an abiding gratitude of thanks.

James Barton King, a Massachusetts native, is a person with a
lot of Senate staff experience, as one can guess fi-om my distin-
guished colleagues who will shortly introduce him. Mr. King is cur-
rently the chief of staff in the Boston office of Senator John Kerry,
and formerly he was a special assistance for the senior Senator
from Massachusetts, Senator Edward Kennedy. So I welcome my
good fi*iends and Senate colleagues to the Committee and look for-
ward to hearing from you.

The Committee rules mandate that an inquiry be conducted into
the experience, qualifications, suitability and integrity of a nomi-
nee. The Committee has reviewed Mr. King's financial statements,
as well as detailed information on his educational background, em-
ployment record, and professional achievements.

In addition, he has responded in writing to an extensive set of
pre-hearing questions submitted by the Committee. These ques-
tions concern the duties and responsibiUties of the 0PM Director's
position. Copies of the biographical information and pre-hearing re-
sponses will be placed in the record as part of this hearing and are
available today upon request.

Chairman Glenn. Mr. King's financi£d statements are also avail-
able for inspection by the public in the Committee office. Commit-
tee staff have reviewed the nominee's biographical and financial in-
formation. In addition, staff have examined the financial disclosure
report submitted by the Office of Government Ethics to ensure that
no conflicts of interest are present. Senator Roth, our distinguished
ranking member, and I, as Chairman of the Committee, have re-
viewed the FBI background investigation report on Mr. King. Fi-
n£dly, the nominee has been interviewed in private by designated
Committee staff members prior to this hearing.

Mr. King, the Committee welcomes you. We look forward to your
testimony today. Before we get to that. Senator Roth?

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROTH

Senator RoTH. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure
to welcome you here, Mr. King, along with our two distinguished
colleagues, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Kerry.



As the Chairman has said, Mr. King brings a wealth of experi-
ence on how Government works. As the Chairman of the National
Transportation Safety Board, he managed an independent agency.
As Senator Kennedy's special assistant for 7 years and as the chief
of staff in Senator Kerry's Boston office, he has experienced on
many occasions, I euh sure, the frustration of constituents who have
had to deal with red tape and bureaucratic inefficiency.

The administration has promised change and President Clinton
has expressed great interest in making Government more efficient
and responsive to the American people. At the heart of these efforts
must be a thorough examination of our personnel and management
systems. Layers of bureaucracy have become mired down in the de-
tails of process rather than focusing on service to the public.

This is not a criticism of Federal employees, but of the system
in which they operate. The employees I have worked with are very
able and public-minded. Unfortunately, they are confined to a sys-
tem in which regulations are the rule and creativity is stifled. I
urge the administration to move forward with breaking down these
barriers to ft-ee employees to seize the initiative. Ultimately, this
is what will provide the basis for a Government more responsive
to the public.

To meet the challenge of a more efficient, responsive Govern-
ment, we must move forward with modem technology and commu-
nications in the workplace, but these advances require a workforce
which has attained the skills to be able to use these tools, and this
is the type of strategy we must focus on if we are to provide a Fed-
eral Government that can do more with less.

As a longtime proponent of a Government-wide early retirement
window, I support the President's effort to reduce the workforce by
100,000. Frankly, I think it can go further through attrition. The
Department of Defense alone is expected to be reduced by this
amount. It is my belief that we can accomplish significant savings
through greater reductions in personnel and use some of these sav-
ings to better compensate those employees who are the Govern-
ment's top performers. This will provide for a leaner, but more effi-
cient workforce that I know the President desires.

In order to have a Government that performs at the highest
level, we must reward those employees who are top performers and
provide guidgoice to those employees who are under-performing,
and I know the nominee shares this view. There are other ch^-
lenges which will confront the new 0PM Director. Among them is
a reform of our health progrgim and how it relates to national re-
form efforts. As Mr. King knows, I have been working on legisla-
tion to reform the Federal employee system and I look forward to
working with the administration in this effort.

In order to have a top-flight workforce that is competitive with
the private sector, we must empower employees so that they feel
part of our Government's mission. I know Mr. King shares this goal
and I look forward to hearing from him this morning.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Glenn. Thank you.
Senator Akaka, do you have any comments?



OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR AKAKA

Senator Akaka. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I join
you and my colleagues in welcoming Mr, King. I am pleased to
have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. King on a number of
Federed employee issues important to Hawaii and the rest of our
Nation.

We are all aware that Federal employees will be experiencing
change with this new Administration. President Clinton is asking
Federal employees, hke the rest of the Nation, to do more with less.
The President's recent executive order calls on Federal agencies to
reduce 100,000 Federal employees from their payrolls by the end
of fiscal year 1995. The reductions are expected to come from vol-
untary separations, esirly out, and regular retirements. However, if
these targets do not materialize, we need to ensure that the Fed-
eral Government shares in its responsibilities to retrain employees
and assist in a transition from Federal service to the private sector.

We must also ensure that the Federal Government continues to
recruit and retain highly qualified employees in a more effective,
less costly environment. Federcd service used to signify fair and
equal opportunities to all Americans. However, this has changed.
Recent studies on the effects of the glass ceiling on women and mi-
norities in the Federal workforce and the current discriminatory
EEOC process have eroded the confidence of Federal employees.
The chgoiges sought by the President and Congress need to protect
equal emplojmient opportunities for all, regarcUess of race, gender,
or age.

I welcome you, Jim, to the Committee and look forward to hear-
ing how you will address these and other issues of importance to
our Nation's Federal employees as Director of 0PM.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairmgin.

ChairmEui Glenn. Thank you.

Senator Stevens?

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR STEVENS

Senator Stevens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate
the opportunity to see Mr. King again. He has visited in my office
with me and I am familiar with his work at the National Transpor-
tation Safety Board.

I would like to put my statement in the record, please.

Chairman Glenn. Without objection, it will be entered.

Prepared Statement of Senator Stevens

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your giving me this opportunity to wel-
come Mr. King. He and I had an opportunity to tmk last week in my office.

Mr. King, you are about to take over this agency at a difficult period of time. Fed-
eral employees and retirees are upset that their pay and benefits are in danger.
While employees and retirees are willing to sacrifice to help reduce the deficit, they
feel strongly that they are being asked to bear more than their fair share.

On the other hand, Federal agencies are faced with a mandate to reduce Federal
employment, through attrition as much as possible. However, that may not always
be possible, and agencies will need assistance fi"om the Office of Personnel Manage-
ment as they consider alternatives to reduce employment levels.

There are many other issues you will face — the fate of the Performance Manage-
ment and Recognition System (PMRS) which expires this year, the development of
a separate pay system for law enforcement officers, the feasibility of a government-
wide retirement or separation incentive, and the possible permanent authorization
of the current leave-sharing program which also expires this year. Fortunately, you



will inherit a staff of extremely capable and qualified career Federal employees at
0PM who, I am sure, stand ready to assist you in every way.

I look forward to hearing your opening statement and to your responses to what
I expect will be some interesting questions from our members today.

Chairman Glenn. Senator McCain?

Senator McCain. I have no opening statement. Thank you, Mr.
Chairman.

Chairman Glenn. Theink you very much. We have two of our dis-
tinguished colleagues to introduce Mr. King today. We are glad to
have their unbiased observations of Mr. King's qualifications, and
we will start off with Senator Kennedy.

TESTIMONY OF HON. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

Senator Kennedy. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would
like to put my full statement in the record.
Chairman GLENN. Without objection, it will be included.

Prepared Statement of Senator Kennedy

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, the association of the Kennedy
family and the King family goes back about 50 years. His father was one of the very
outstanding labor leaders in western Massachusetts in our State. He was a very
early supporter that I got to know just after my brother was elected to the United
States Senate in 1952.

Then through the period of the 1950's, when Jimmy King was a teenager, he was
already locked into the concept of Government and public service and public life.
His whole life has been involved in public service and in public Ufe, smd ne believes
very deeply in the fact that politics is a noble profession and that people that serve
ought to understand that.

He is a person who brings a very varied experience to this job at the Federal level.
He is someone who has worked very, very effectively as director of my office in the
early period of the 1960*b. He has worked in the Wliite House on just the kinds of
issues that he is being challenged to work on now, and he will apply that kind of
extraordinary experience throughout the Government.

He has worked at the National level with the independent agencies, as Senator
Stevens has mentioned. He has worked on the State level in the mass transpor-
tation agency at a critical period for that agency. He has had varied experience at
universities, both at Harvard and at Northeastern.

In all of the things that he has been involved in, he has left an indelible impres-
sion and left all of those responsibilities in better shape than he found them. I think
all of us are impressed by his organizational skills and his management skills. They
have been amply demonstrated, and it is those kinds of skills wnich are in special
need for this extremely important responsibility.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, he has a unique ability to encourage all the people that
are working with him — not for him but with him — to work exceedingly hard and to
love it, and they end up loving him. I think if he is able to capture that spirit among
Government employees, his contribution to the Clinton administration will certainly
be significant.

I urge, without reservation, his approval and I think the President is indeed fortu-
nate to have his service. Thank you.

Chairman Glenn. Thank you very much, Senator Kennedy.
Senator Kerry?

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN F. KERRY, U.S. SENATOR FROM
THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members
of the Committee, colleagues. Listening to Senator Kennedy's intro-
duction, I think he has covered the waterfront. Let me just, if I
may, touch on a few additional points.



6

I listened to Senator Kennedy in his introduction talk about an
indelible impression that Jim King has left, and he has exactly
that — in more ways than one, in more places than one might imag-
ine.

I don't know how many of you had a chance to read today's Fed-
eral Page in the Washington Post. There is one especially good
anecdote, of Jim's service as an advance aide to Senator Kennedy
when they were on a trip to Moscow in the 1970's. They were in
Russia, and they had a particularly hard time obtaining the sched-
vde from one KGB type who was managing their affairs, one whom
they didn't like very much. The Soviets had come to understand
that somehow Jim King had managed to find the schedule on a
daily basis and that Senator Kennedy's party had been able to
make their way, notwithstanding this one KGB agent who wasn't
cooperative. They knew there was a leak and they didn't know
where it was.

As they were leaving, Jim King went up to this guy he didn't like
and whom they all felt was responsible for their problems, put his
arms around him, gave him an enormous hug and a kiss on both
cheeks, and thanked him profusely, loudly saying, "If it weren't for
you, this trip could not have been a success." And the guy pulls
back in horror. Senator Kennedy £ind his group depart, and that
guy is still looking for Jim King to this day. [Laughter.]
Chairman Glenn. Still looking for a job, too, probably.
Senator Kerry. There are more stories of Jim King in his var-
ious incarnations as a pied piper of poUtics, and I think Ted Ken-
nedy has hit the nail on the head. The Office of Personnel Manage-
ment is about people and Government is about people. Bill Clinton
obviously has set out to try to reinfuse into government an energy
and a sense of inspiration about why we are all in this endeavor.
Jim wants to impart this to our Grovemment employees, and he
wants to improve the process.

Jim King's life has been about just that, from his early days as
an organizer in Brighton, Massachusetts, when he worked in some
of the neighborhood action programs set up by Lyndon Johnson, to
the larger playing fields on wluch he has had the privilege of serv-
ing his Nation, and I just can't say enough for the capacity to teach
that he brings to his new assignment, Mr. Chairman.

When he ginnounced that he was going to be leaving our office,
there were many reasons that we were saddened, but a number of
the younger members of the office came to me and said, you know,
he has been a teacher to me, a very valuable teacher, and I think
that one of the most important things a person could do in this
business is create a whole new echelon, a new generation that
learns the lessons, if you will.

One of the things we have started in my office which is new, and
I think unique, and we have it thsuiks to Jim's efforts, is a constitu-
ent service corps. Because we are strapped today, because we have
a government of fewer and fewer people at the same time we have
more and more demand for government services, and there seems
to be more separation between us as pohtical people and people
that we serve, Jim helped me to try to put together a rather inno-
vative effort to take every community in the State and build a
group of volunteers who want to be my Unk to that community and



who want to try to provide for constituent service on a volunteer
basis and to represent me within the community. We have been
very successful in building that effort, and obviously we are going
to miss him in completing it, but it is illustrative of the kind of in-
novation and the kind of spirit that he brings to this effort.

As you look through his vita, you will see that when he was at
Northeastern, at Harvard, at each of the way stations along his
public service journey, he has always been the person who has
helped to facilitate, to bring people together and to get widespread
support for various changes or for various controversial programs.
That is a rare talent, and I think President Clinton has chosen ex-
traordinarily well in bringing him back to the Federal executive
branch at this important time and I commend Jim very, very
strongly to the Committee. He is a rare pubhc servant, a very spe-
cial human being, and I have been very privileged to have lum
work for me and with me — really with me rather than for me, and
I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role as
he serves our Nation.

Chairman Glenn. Thank you, Senator Kerry.

Senator Kerry. I apologize for having to leave, but I complained
about no one showing up at a hearing, so I must be the one who
is there this time.

Chairman Glenn. Thank you. Senator Kerry.

Senator Dorgan, do you have any comment to make before we
swear the witness here?

Senator DoRGAN. No.

Chairman Glenn. We have to have this as sworn testimony. Do
you swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. King. I do.

Chairman Glenn. I didn't know whether you had any special
friends or family members here with you today.

TESTIMONY OF JAMES BARTON KING, TO BE DIRECTOR,
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

Mr. King. Mr. Chairmgin, unfortunately, I have been traveling
back and forth and I have five children and my spouse, of course,
and what I did was we added it all up and we thought we would
reward ourselves by going out to dinner, if the Senate is gracious
enough to pass me. So they opted not to be here today so that we
could feed together in another location. [Laughter.]

Chairman Glenn. I have some questions that we have to ask of
all nominees for the record, whatever job they are going into, and
I will get those right now. Number one, is there anything that you
are aware of in your backgroimd that might present a conflict of
interest with the duties of the office to which you have been nomi-
nated?

Mr. King. No, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Glenn. Two, do you know of any reason, personal or
otherwise, that would in any way prevent you from fiilly and hon-
orably discharging the responsibilities of the office to which you
have been nominated?

Mr. King. No, Mr. Chairman.



8

Chairman Glenn. If confirmed, do you agree, without reserva-
tion, to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee
of the Congress?
Mr. King. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Glenn. Fine, thank you. Historically, limited civil
service salaries relative to private sector wages have been offset by
other benefits of Federal service such as job security and retire-


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveNomination of James Barton King : hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on nomination of James Barton King to be Director, Office of Personnel Management, March 30, 1993 → online text (page 1 of 9)