NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Improving Government Productivity

April 27, 2000

Some political observers report that presidential candidate George W. Bush will soon announce a plan to bring the federal government into the 21st century.

Here are some indications of what his plan may embrace:

  • Some of his policy advisers say it calls for using state-of-the-art computer technology, broader use of the Internet, and widespread privatization to deliver government services at less cost and with fewer federal workers.
  • To revolutionize the way antiquated agencies and programs are run, the plan calls for using the same technological and downsizing reforms that U.S. businesses have employed to boost productivity and deliver better products and services at cheaper prices.
  • More government work would be contracted to the private sector, there would be far more competitive bidding for contracts, and redundant programs would be consolidated.

For example, despite some changes in its operations, the Department of Agriculture still runs county field offices that were originally created to be no more than a day's horseback ride away from farmers. And there are at present more than 100 different federal job-training programs and agencies.

Auditors estimate wasteful and inefficient government spending at between $100 billion and $200 billion a year.

Source: Donald Lambro, "Eyes on Reshaping the Federal Landscape," Washington Times, April 27, 2000.


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