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Executive branch reorganization : hearings before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995, an overview of how to do it, May 18, 1995, various proposals online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveExecutive branch reorganization : hearings before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995, an overview of how to do it, May 18, 1995, various proposals → online text (page 1 of 32)
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S. Hrg. 104-^33

EXECUTIVE BRANCH REORGANIZATION



Y 4. G 74/9; S. HRG, 104-433

Executive Branch Reorganization* S

HEARINGS



BEFORE THE



COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MAY 17, 1995
AN OVERVIEW OF HOW TO DO IT

MAY 18, 1995
VARIOUS PROPOSALS



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs










U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1996






l^ts



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-052584-5



S. Hrg. 104-^33

EXECUTIVE BRANCH REORGANIZATION



Y 4. G 74/9; S.HRS, 104-433

Executive Branch Reorganization* S

HEARINGS



BEFORE THE



COMMITTEE ON
GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



MAY 17, 1995
AN OVERVIEW OF HOW TO DO IT

MAY 18, 1995
VARIOUS PROPOSALS



Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs







} OFFICE "^

WASHINGTON : 1996



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ^^ ' '



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-052584-5



COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska SAM NUNN, Georgia

WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine . JOHN GLENN, Ohio

FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee CARL LEVIN, Michigan

THAD COCHRAN. Mississippi DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas

CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut

JOHN McCAIN, Arizona DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii

BOB SMITH, New Hampshire BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota

Franklin G. Polk, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
John Marshall, Professional Staff
Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff Director
Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk



(II)



CONTENTS



Opening statements: Page

Senator Roth 1,49

Senator Glenn 3,51

Senator Stevens 6

Senator Akaka 7

Senator Lieberman 8

Prepared statements:

Senator Grassley 9

WITNESSES

Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Hon. Charles A. Bowsher, Comptroller General, U.S. General Accounting

Office 10

Hon. Alice M. Rivlin, Director, Office of Management and Budget 12

Scott Fosler, President, National Academy of Public Administration 32

Alan L. Dean, Senior Fellow and Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, Na-
tional Academy of Public Administration 34

Andrew Foster, Chief Executive of the Audit Commission, United Kingdom .... 37
Paul C. Light, Professor of Public Affairs and Planning, Hubert H. Humphrey

Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota 39

Robert S. Gilmour, Professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut .... 41

Thursday, May 18, 1995

Hon. Spencer Abraham, U.S. Senator from the State of Michigan 54

Hon. Lauch Faircloth, U.S. Senator from the State of North Carolina 56

Hon. Steve Gunderson, Representative in Congress from the State of Wiscon-
sin 63

Hon. Sam Brownback, Representative in Congress from the State of Kansas .. 69
Hon. Robert S. Walker, Representative in Congress from the State of Penn-
sylvania 71

Hon. Scott L. Klug, Representative in Congress from the State of Wisconsin ... 76
Donald F. Kettl, Robert M. La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and Center for Public Management, The Brookings

Institution 81

Scott A. Hodge, The Heritage Foundation 84

Murray Comarow, former Executive Director, Ash Council 87

Jeffrey A. Eisenach, President, The Progress and Freedom Foundation 90

Alphabetical List of Witnesses

Abraham, Hon. Spencer:

Testimony 54

Prepared statement 219

Bowsher, Hon. Charles A.:

Testimony 10

Prepared statement 103

Brownback, Hon. Sam:

Testimony 69

Prepared statement 227

Comarow, Murray:

Testimony 87

Prepared statement 251



(III)



IV

Page

Dean, Alan L.:

Testimony 34

Prepared statement 127

Eisenach, Jeffrey A.:

Testimony 90

Prepared statement 255

Faircloth, Hon. Lauch:

Testimony 56

Prepared statement 220

Fosler, Scott:

Testimony ^ 32

Prepared statement 115

Foster, Andrew:

Testimony 37

Prepared statement 139

Gilmour, Robert S.:

Testimony 41

Prepared statement 134

Gunderson, Hon. Steve:

Testimony 63

Prepared statement 222

Hodge, Scott A.:

Testimony 84

Prepared statement 246

Kettl, Donald F.:

Testimony 81

Prepared statement 238

Klug, Hon. Scott L.:

Testimony 76

Prepared statement 231

Light, Paul C:

Testimony 39

Prepared statement 130

Rivlin, Hon. Alice M.:

Testimony 12

Prepared statement 110

Walker, Hon. Robrrt S.:

Testimony 71

Prepared statement 230

APPENDIX

Prepared statements of witnesses in order of appeareince 103

Agency mission statements 146

Information for regional offices for major departments and agencies 158

Senior level staff reduction summary 210

1991 Panetta Proposal — Executive Branch Reorganization 216

1971 Ash Council Proposal — Executive Branch Reorganization 217

1995 Heritage Foundation Proposal — Executive Branch Reorganization .... 218

Senator Christopher S. Bond, prepared statement 237



EXECUTIVE BRANCH REORGANIZATION:
AN OVERVIEW OF HOW TO DO IT



WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 1995

U.S. Senate,
Committee on Governmental Affairs,

Washington, DC.
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room
SD-342 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. William V. Roth, Jr.,
Chairman of the Committee, presiding.

Present: Senators Roth, Glenn, Stevens, Akaka, Lieberman, and
Grassley.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN ROTH

Chairman Roth. The Committee will please be in order. This
morning's hearing is the first of two that the Governmental Affairs
Committee will hold this week on how to reorganize the Executive
Branch. Tomorrow we will look at several specific proposals to con-
solidate and eliminate various departments and agencies, as well
as to privatize certain functions. Today's hearing, however, is in-
tended to focus primarily on the general principles that should
apply to any reorganization plan — an overview of the "how to's,"
and the "how-not-to's."

I think it is important that we begin our inquiry this way before
launching into the specifics of reorganization. We need a good,
firm, rational basis for the downsizing and restructuring of the Ex-
ecutive Branch or else we will end up with a mess on our hands.

Right now, the environment on Capitol Hill for consolidating and
eliminating departments, agencies and functions is almost entirely
budget-driven. As someone who has long advocated the need to
rethink Executive Branch organization, with an eye toward stream-
lining and right-sizing, I thoroughly welcome this new interest in
this subject here in Congress. However, as someone who has also
advocated creating a Commission tasked with thoughtfully develop-
ing a comprehensive plan, I am concerned that we may not be giv-
ing adequate consideration to what kind of Government we need
for the 21st Century.

The question is not simply which Federal departments and agen-
cies should no longer exist, or which functions should no longer be
at the Federal level. Nor is it a matter of simply trying to cut
spending, as important as this certainly is. The American people
are frustrated, not just that Government costs so much, but also
that it doesn't seem to work well. They don't feel it is satisfactorily
addressing the problems they find most troubling. They want Gov-
ernment to spend less, yes, but they also want it to perform better.

(1)



2

If we are not careful in how we eliminate, consolidate, and reorga-
nize departments and agencies, we will end up having a Govern-
ment that gives even worse service than it does now.

To prevent this from happening, and from having a public that
is even more frustrated with Grovernment than it already is, we
have to do several things. We have to think about what the appro-
priate role of the Federal Grovernment should be for the coming
decades. We need to develop a comprehensive reorganization plan
that reflects thos-e new priorities. We need a better understanding
of how to instill accountability and improved performance in large
governmental organizations, and we have to think carefully about
how best to make the difficult transition from a Government better
suited for the industrial age of mid-20th Century America to one
that enters the technological age of a new century. These transi-
tional issues are very important because they entail dealing with
real people in a shrinking Grovemmental work force.

I am hoping that toda/s testimony will help inform this Commit-
tee and the Congress on how best to approach the complex issue
of agency and departmental reorganization.

When, for example, should a function be part of a cabinet depart-
ment? When should it be a separate, non-cabinet-level agency?
When should it be an independent regiilatoiy entity? When should
it be a Government-sponsored enterprise using a corporate model?
When should the function be contracted out and when should it be
privatized? And are there other alternative organizational arrange-
ments that we may not even have considered yet that might im-
prove accountability for reducing costs while increasing perform-
ance?

As the Committee with jurisdiction over the structure of the Ex-
ecutive Branch, including the creation and reorganiz;ation of cabi-
net departments, these are some of the questions we need to ex-
plore if we are to do our job well.

There are, of course, several other important issues that bear on
all of this — civil service reform and the better use of technology,
just to name two. While the hearings today and tomorrow will
focus primarily on structural issues, this Committee is well aware
that major operational reforms are needed if the Federal Govern-
ment is to function well. I intended that these issues too will be
addressed this year by the Committee.

[The prepared statement of Senator Roth follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROTH

This morning's hearing is the first of two that the Governmental Affairs Commit-
tee will hold this week on how to reorganize the Executive Branch. Tomorrow we
will look at several specific proposals to consolidate and eliminate various depart-
ments and agencies, as well as to privatize certain functions. Today's hearing, how-
ever, is intended to focus primarily on the general principles that should apply to
any reorganization plan — an overview of the 'how to's', and the 'how-not-to s', in
other words.

I think it important that we begin our inquiry this way, before launching into the
specifics of reorganization. We need a good, firm, rational basis for the downsizing
and restructuring of the Executive Branch, or else we will end up with a mess on
our hands.

Right now, the environment on Capitol Hill for consolidating and eliminating de-
partments, agencies, and functions is almost entirely budget-driven. As someone
who has long advocated the need to rethink Executive Branch organization, with an
eye toward streamlining and rightsizing, I thoroughly welcome this new interest in



the subject here in Congress. However, as someone who has also advocated creating
a commission tasked with thoughtfully developing a comprehensive plan, I am con-
cerned that we may not be giving adequate consideration to what kind of govern-
ment we need for the 21st Century.

The question is not simply what federal departments and agencies should no
longer exist, or what functions no longer engaged in. Nor is it a matter of simply
trying to cut spending, as important as this certainly is. The American people are
frustrated, not just that government costs so much — but also that it doesn't seem
to work well. They don't feel it is satisfactorily addressing the problems they find
most troubling. They want government to spend less, yes, but they also want it to
perform better. If we are not careful in how we eliminate, consolidate, and reorga-
nize departments and agencies, we will end up having a government that gives even
worse service than it does now.

To prevent this from happening, and from having a public that is even more frus-
trated with government than it already is, we have to do several things. We have
to think about what the appropriate role of the federal government should be for
the coming decades. We need to develop a comprehensive reorganization plan that
reflects those new priorities. We need a better understanding of how to instill ac-
countability and improved performance in large governmental organizations. And
we have to think carefully about how best to make the difficult transition from a
government better suited for the industrial age of mid-20th Century America, to
one that enters the technological age of a new century. These transitional issues are
very important, because they entail dealing with real people in a shrinking govern-
mental workforce.

This is why I am concerned about a piecemeal reorganization effort — ehminating
a few departments and agencies this year, and perhaps a few more next year, with-
out any real thought as to where we want to end up and how best to get there.
I am equally concerned that the counter to such piecemeal reorganization seems to
be an opposition to any restructuring of the Executive Branch.

Therefore, I am hoping that today's testimony will help inform this Committee on
how best to approach the complex issue of agency and departmental reorganization.
When, for example, should a function be part of a cabinet department? When should
it be a separate, non-cabinet-level agency? When should it be an independent regu-
latory entity? When should it be a government sponsored enterprise, using a cor-
porate model? When should the function be contracted-out, and when should it be
privatized? And are there other alternative organizational arrangements, that we
may not have even considered yet, that might improve accountability for reducing
costs while increasing performance?

As the Committee with jurisdiction over the structure of the Executive Branch,
including the creation and reorganization of cabinet departments, these are some of
the questions we need to explore if we are to do our job well.

There are, of course, other very important issues that bear on all of this — civil
service reform and the better use of technology, to name just two. While the hear-
ings today and tomorrow will focus primarily on structural issues, this Committee
is well-aware that major operational reforms are needed if the federal government
is to function well. I intended that these issues too will be addressed this year by
the Committee.

Chairman Roth. I would like to call upon ranking member, Sen-
ator Glenn.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR GLENN

Senator Glenn. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I welcome today's
witnesses. I look forward to hearing their testimony on how to reor-
ganize Executive Branch agencies and programs and functions.

As Senator Roth has stated. Government reorganization must be
done in a comprehensive and deliberate manner. It cannot be and
should not be a furtive exercise where we just rearrange deck
chairs or bureaucratic boxes, and giving them new forwarding ad-
dresses and shipping them to someone else in the Federal bureauc-
racy. Nor, in our effort to pare the Federal Government's fat,
should we ever sever its muscle and cut its bone. We may end up
with a smaller Federal Government that way, but it will be one



that is even less effective and efficient than the one that we have
now.

This Committee has a longstanding, bipartisan tradition of exam-
ining Federal Government reorganization issues. Two years ago the
Committee reported out legislation that Chairman Roth and I au-
thored to create a Commission to reduce the costs and increase the
effectiveness of the Federal Grovernment.

We didn't envision this as just any old Commission that would
convene a bunch of talking heads in order to produce some thick
study that would gather dust on a shelf. We have too many of those
Commissions already. Rather, the Commission's recommendations
on Government reorganization and consolidation would have to be
considered by Congress on a fast-track basis, so we gave it some
real authority. Unfortunately, the bill did not move beyond Com-
mittee, but I would be interested in hearing from the witnesses
whether its resuscitation would be worthwhile.

Clearly, we need to reorganize, consolidate and even eliminate a
number of the programs and operations of the Federal Govern-
ment. For example, take the myriad of Federal Advisory Commit-
tees sprawled across Government. Do we really need the Idaho-
Eastern Oregon Potato Committee, the Colorado Potato Adminis-
trative Committee, the State of Washington Potato Committee, the
Oregon-California Potato Committee or could they all be peeled off
and consolidated into one? [Laughter.]

Perhaps under the auspices of the National Potato Promotion
Board or some similar organization.

Another one of my favorite Advisory Committees is a joint Mexi-
can-U.S. Defense Commission established by FDR to ward off a
Nazi invasion from Mexico. As far as I can tell, they are still wait-
ing for the invasion to occur.

Through presidential executive orders followed up by efforts of
the National Performance Review, we have cut the number of Fed-
eral Advisory Committees by over 350. We obviously have a long
ways to go yet. With accumulated savings approaching $30 million,
that still leaves over 400 Advisory Committees mandated by Con-
gress, not just ones that were formed over by the Executive
Branch, but another 400 Advisory Committees mandated by Con-
gress over the years. I plan to introduce shortly a measure that
would impose sunset limits on all of these groups and force Con-
gress to consider which ones are truly necessary and only continue
those that perform a valuable function.

This Committee has worked long and hard over the years, often
with very little fanfare, on trying to improve the efficiency and ef-
fectiveness of the Federal Government; two things that are written
into the mandate for this Committee. We have installed inspector
generals in all of the major departments and agencies of Govern-
ment, some 61 in all now, and they are doing a good job. We have
improved Federal financial management. Federal accounting sys-
tems, the CFO Act. It is hard to believe we required no bottom-line
audits every year from departments and agencies until 1990 and
beyond, when we finally put that in. It is almost hard to believe.

We held tough oversight hearings on contracting abuses, and we
strengthened agency information management and controls. Now
we will be looking at Government consolidation and reorganization.



We will be asking tough questions. Is this program or function
truly in the national interest? If so, how should it be administered;
at the Federal level, at the State level, at the local level or by the
private sector through privatization? Most importantly, how will
the American people benefit?

We have a very complex society, and I think those who think we
can just go to some super simplistic Government and cut out a lot
of expense and administer the complex society we have, I think
they are engaging in wishful thinking in that regard. I don't think
we are going to be able to cut out nearly as much in Federal orga-
nization as a lot of people think. We have certain needs, and those
are proper needs and those are what we should define and then de-
fine how to take care of those particular needs that the Federal
Government administers on behalf of people all across this country.
We want to cut the excesses, obviously. We want to do that. But
I believe many, fi-om what we read in the paper and some of the
proposals particularly over in the House so far, just whack, take a
machete to every government program or function. Cut everything
as though we can automatically get by and have the same kind of
country we have had in the past if we did that. I don't think that
is possible.

So there are lots of questions, and these questions do not have
simple sound-bite answers. The task of Government consolidation
and reorganization is arduous and it is tedious. Eliminating Fed-
eral Advisory Committees is difficult enough, but terminating
whole cabinet departments that is a Herculean task. Maybe we can
do that, but who does the functions if the functions are necessary
that those departments now provide? Where do they go? Will it be
done any better or more efficiently just by sending them over to a
new mailing address? I am not sure that that would be the case.

It cannot be accomplished overnight, not if it is going to be done
right. With the end of the Cold War, we downsized the military.
We closed unnecessary bases. We shrunk the Defense budget. We
did it in a thoughtful and deliberate effort that has taken several
years and it is still ongoing. My fear is that, after unveiling of the
budget in both House and Senate, a race will now be on to see who
can be the biggest and the "baddest" agency cutting Samurai for
the rest of the Federal Government, and I am not sure that is the
way we should be going.

I hope that, as we proceed in the months ahead, more thought
will be given to ways to consolidate and eliminate Federal pro-
grams and agencies that actually improves Government efficiencies
and effectiveness, and I think we can do that, but it is not some-
thing that is going to be done in some great sword-swinging, budg-
et-cutting effort here, taking pride in our press releases on what
we cut without due regard to what happens to the people that are
affected by those cuts.

For 3 years now the Administration has been studying, proposing
and implementing a wide range of administrative and legislative
ideas to reform Government. There have been a lot of successes.
We have had a major reduction in the Federal work force. The ob-
jective of the Administration was to cut 272,000 people out in a 4-
year period. We are ahead of schedule on that. We hope to complete
that by the end of this year. I think we are running right at the



108,000 or 110,000 actual cuts in civil service employment so far
in this Administration. They should be complimented for that.

We streamlined HUD, IfflS and the Department of Agriculture,
and governmentwide procurement reform, which we passed last
year, is now beginning to take effect. These are a few of the success
stories.

The National Performance Review both proves how we can
streamline Government as well as how hard it is; the length of
time involved; objections from narrow special interests; turf-con-
scious agencies and their Congressional allies — they all can present
major barriers.

As we move on to look at agency and program consolidation and
elimination, I want to hear from the witnesses on what lessons we
can apply from NPR, where we need to expand that, new proposals
that could be made along that same Une and how we can learn
from previous Government reorganization efforts to accomplish this
objective in a way that both saves money and improves Govern-
ment effectiveness without cutting some of the services our people
want from the Federal Grovemment. So I look forward to hearing
from witnesses.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Roth. Thank you, Senator Glenn. Senator Stevens?

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR STEVENS

Senator Stevens. Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I have just come
by because I have another hearing, but I also want to join you and,
if I understand what Senator Glenn has just said, him, too, in just
stating at the outset that I think we have maybe a short-term
problem in terms of the budget, but we have a long-term problem
in terms of reorganization of the Grovemment, and I do hope that
we will have some bipartisan support for the concept of the Com-
mission that you two have suggested.

I have been working for some time on some concepts to reorga-
nize the Executive Branch and to try and concentrate on the
changes that have taken place in our basic economy as we do so.

I don't know how many people have read Arno Penzias' new book
on Harmony. I would suggest you do because he has described how
the private sector has adapted now in the computer age finally into
a process of really the elimination of unnecessary functions and has
improved our system considerably. I do believe the same thing
could take place in terms of our Government. I, for instance, don't
know why every department has an administrative assistant sec-
retary and a whole administrative branch. We ought to have a De-
partment of Administration and admit that we have the capability



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveExecutive branch reorganization : hearings before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995, an overview of how to do it, May 18, 1995, various proposals → online text (page 1 of 32)