Davis plans to trim Government Reform subcommittees

Davis plans to trim Government Reform subcommittees

Rep. Tom Davis yesterday said he plans to reorganize the House Government Reform subcommittees, including reducing the number to six from seven. The Virginia Republican, who earlier this month was named committee chairman, said he would retain the Technology and Procurement Policy subcommittee, but as with the other groups, he planned to modify its focus.

Hill sources had said Davis was considering folding the technology and procurement subcommittee, of which he formerly was the chairman, into the full committee. Davis spokesman David Marin said the congressman had not made final decisions about the makeup of the subcommittees and who will lead them.

Marin said Davis' goal is to make the subcommittee assignments by early February.

Davis' agenda for the committee is becoming clear. In a luncheon briefing of reporters at the National Press Club sponsored by the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, Davis said his top priorities include reforming civil service and pushing for legislation that would give the administration the ability to more easily and quickly reorganize federal agencies.

'The federal government has a human capital crisis,' Davis said. 'We need to deal with the seniority system in government because it is clear we cannot take the existing structure further into the 21st century.'

He said the hiring and firing process must accelerate and added that pay should be based on market values. Davis also said Senior Executive Service employees should be paid on two scales'one for managers and one for nonmanager technical employees.

'The federal government is late in realizing that people are its major asset,' Davis said. 'We need to look at the pay-for-performance that is being done at the General Accounting Office and the pay-banding pilot at Treasury. These offer a lot of possibilities. One thing is clear, inaction is not an option at this point.'

Davis also said he would like to push legislation through the committee by August that would give the administration the ability to reorganize 'without specific congressional authorization in every case.'

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