Thompson and Voinovich Urge Administration To Attack High-Risk Problems

WASHINGTON ? Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia Subcommittee Chairman George Voinovich (R-OH) Thursday asked the Administration to take concrete steps to solve the twenty-two problems on the General Accounting Office?s current High-Risk List. These problems constitute the worst examples of fraud, waste, and mismanagement in the federal government, and waste billions of taxpayer dollars every year, impeding service to the public, and undermining confidence in government.

In a joint letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell Daniels, the Senators urged OMB to establish specific performance goals and target deadlines to solve each of the twenty-two problems, and to include those goals in the annual government-wide performance plans required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

“Unfortunately, the prior Administration refused to develop goals to solve the high-risk problems,” the Senators wrote. “As a result, we have made little progress. We think the Bush Administration must take this task on.”

Although the GAO has published its High-Risk List for years, the Clinton Administration chose to issue their own list of “Priority Management Objectives” that acknowledged only some of the challenges on the High-Risk List.

“The Clinton Administration not only failed to establish and accomplish their own tangible goals,” Senator Thompson said, “but they also failed to address the outstanding management challenges consistently appearing on the High-Risk List. I?m encouraged by the interest the Bush team has already shown in taking on these problems,” Thompson added. “I hope that making the specific commitments we?re asking for will further demonstrate their leadership resolve and sound a powerful signal throughout the government.”

“Attacking these high-risk problems will be no easy task,” said Voinovich. “Fortunately, the President has chosen a team with proven management skills. They are clearly up to the challenge, and Senator Thompson and I will do all we can to help.”

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