Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal

This blog's mascot (Pokopolis' piglets have named him Babe) started flapping his wings in double time as the following was being posted:
The Bush administration will reveal plans today for creating two commissions to evaluate all federal government agencies and eliminate those that do not perform as promised.

The "Sunset Commission" and the "Results Commission" will review the efficiency and necessity of all government agencies and recommend scrapping those that don't fulfill their clear mission statements. The administration aims for the commissions to become a permanent aspect of culling government fat.
(Washington Times: New commissions look to cut government fat)
These two commissions were first disscussed in the Office of Management and Budget's report entitiled Making Government More Effective; part of the 2006 Federal Budget submitted to Congress. From pages 53-54 of the report:


The Budget and Performance Integration Initiative is changing the usual debates about budget policy. Instead of asking agencies only "how much" they need, agencies are being asked "how well" they are performing with the dollars they receive. To reinforce this shift in approach, the agenciesare preparing performance budgets that display clearly the level of performance expected with the requested funding level.

The Administration has assessed 60 percent of Federal programs, and has plans to assess the remaining 40 percent over the next two years. Because the potential for savings and productivity are great, the Administration is proposing two mechanisms for realizing these opportunities in a systematic and expedited fashion.
First, the Administration is proposing the establishment of a Sunset Commission to provide regular scrutiny of Federal programs. This bipartisan commission would review each Federal program on a schedule established by the Congress to determine whether it is producing results and should continue to exist. Programs would automatically terminate according to the schedule unless the Congress took action to continue them.

The second proposal is to establish Results Commissions to review Administration plans to consolidate or streamline programs that cross departmental or Congressional committee jurisdictional lines to improve performance and increase efficiency. Ordinarily, programs that cross such boundaries often are not subject to the usual performance review process, resulting in inefficiencies, lost opportunities, or redundancies. Results Commissions, made up of experts in relevant fields, would be established as needed to review consolidation proposals. The Congress would consider the Commission’s recommendation through expedited review authority.


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