Survey by Gore's group discovers government isn't quite reinvented

The five-year effort to reinvent government has failed to reach its full potential
within agencies, according to the results of a recent survey by Vice President Al
Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government.


Of the 13,657 federal employees who responded to the survey, 35 percent said they
believe their agencies have made reinvention a priority. In response to a question as to
whether they understood how good performance is defined in their agencies, only 25 percent
responded in the affirmative.


The survey, released last month, also found that 25 percent of employees said
management and unions work cooperatively. Another 28 percent said that corrective actions
are taken when employees do not meet performance standards and 35 percent said creativity
and innovation are rewarded.


The survey is the first to ask federal employees about their opinions on the Clinton
administration’s effort to create a government that works better and costs less.


Gore, in a letter to federal workers, said he generally was pleased with the
survey’s findings despite the indication that more work needs to be done. “The
survey shows that reinvention works, but we have a long way to go,” he said.
“Experience in the private sector shows that large-scale organizational change takes
many years.”


Agencies in which reinvention is a priority are generally more focused on customer
service, the survey found.


The 35 percent of employees who said reinvention was a priority also said their
agencies had service goals aimed at meeting customers’ expectations, considered their
employees’ opinions and gave employees more flexibility on the job.


Despite the long-term view that agencies are slow to embrace reinvention, the survey
found that 62 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs. Also, 60 percent said a
spirit of cooperation and teamwork exists.


The 33-question survey was mailed to a random sample of 34,401 employees in 48 federal
agencies.


The survey results are posted on the Web at
http://www.npr.gov/library/misc/survey.html.  

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