White House Announcement of the Federal Productivity Improvement Program and Executive Order Revocation

February 25, 1986

The President today signed two Executive orders which will significantly improve Federal Government productivity. The first Order dedicates the Federal Government to a comprehensive program to improve productivity substantially by 1992, while the second revokes 386 obsolete and/or inactive Executive orders.

The goal of the first Executive order, entitled ``Productivity Improvement Program for the Federal Government,'' is to achieve a 20-percent productivity increase in selected high-priority functions as a means of improving quality, timeliness, and efficiency of services Government provides to people. Every 1-percent increase in Federal productivity, which results in an estimated 1-percent reduction in Federal employment, could generate actual savings of about $1 billion, according to the General Accounting Office.

The Executive order will be followed closely by issuance of an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) bulletin containing detailed guidelines for developing, implementing, and assessing agency productivity improvement programs. Agencies' first plans describing how they will improve productivity, and in which areas, are due to OMB by March 31 as part of their annual management improvement plans. The President's Council on Management Improvement will play a major leadership role in implementing this governmentwide effort to boost productivity.

The Executive order recognizes that participation and support from Federal managers and employees are essential to meet the President's goals. The order requires measures to augment training in productivity techniques; to develop retraining and job placement alternatives; and to better use incentives, both monetary and nonmonetary, in order to reward and stimulate excellence. If a productivity enhancement is expected to result in a staff reduction, the OMB bulletin states that ``the agency should ensure that all possible steps are taken to see that reductions occur through transfer and attrition and not through a reduction-in-force.''

Issuance of the Executive order on productivity continues the momentum begun last July, when President Reagan asked Congress to pass a joint resolution declaring productivity improvement in the Federal sector a national priority.

In a somewhat related action, the President also signed a second Executive order which revokes 386 obsolete and/or inactive Executive orders -- the largest number ever revoked at one time. Based on a study conducted by the President's Council on Management Improvement, the revocations will simplify and clarify requirements placed on departments by the central management agencies of Government (General Services Administration, OMB, and Office of Personnel Management).