Reinventing Government Gets a "B"

"Reinventing government," Vice President Gore's much-heralded initiative to put the federal government on a more user-friendly, business-like basis, has been given "a solid B" on its fifth anniversary by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. In a report, Brookings policy analyst Donald F. Kettl sums up the initiative with these brief comments: "Great progress in some areas, little traction in others, some administrative disasters prevented, strong academic complaint, government downsized, but only modest public awareness of the effort and little voter appreciation of the result."

Kettl, who has issued his report on reinventing government for each of the last four years, awarded the initiative an A-plus for effort, an A for improving federal procurement practices, and a B-plus for instilling a sense of customer service in federal agencies. But he gave the program a D for its relations with Congress and another D for identifying the objectives of government. All other grades were Bs or Cs.

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