NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Government Streamlining Commissions

October 26, 2012

Streamlining commissions are a businesslike approach to government and act as a search for efficiency in government operations.  The commissions are a source for identifying savings and policy improvements while providing improved services at decreased costs.  Commissions can help to make a more business-friendly climate with less taxes and regulation.  Streamlining commissions may recommend that certain services would be more effective or efficient in the private sector or not useful at all and recommended to be terminated.  Two commissions in Louisiana and Virginia succeeded in finding cost savings and get more business friendly policies.  Also, studies have shown that all countries and states would experience greater prosperity with smaller governments, say Carmine Scavo and Emily Washington of the Mercatus Center.

Goals of the streamlining commissions include determining which state programs and agencies could be eliminated or consolidated, and determining if a program is a core government function.  All spending outside of this area could decrease economic growth by crowding out private sector activity.

The core attributes of a streamlining commission include:

  • Has clear and defined objectives regarding its final product.
  • Clear and well thought out schedule planning for at least a year of work with opportunity for interim advice.
  • Sufficient funding to hire an independent staff.
  • Most of the members of the commission should be independent of the government, especially the head of the commission.

Source: Carmine Scavo and Emily Washington, "Government Streamlining Commissions: A Methodology for Measuring Effectiveness," Mercatus Center, October 15, 2012.


Browse more articles on Government Issues