Thompson Urges New HUD, Commerce Secretaries…To Improve Management Practices By Compliance With New Laws

Washington, DC–Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) urged new HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and Commerce Secretary William Daley to effectively implement bipartisan government management reforms that would help improve their agencies management operations and save millions of dollars in government waste, fraud and abuse.

In a Senate floor statement on management reforms at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Thompson said, “the department should be run as effectively as a Fortune 500 company. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in the past….In 1994 the General Accounting Office (GAO) placed the entire department on its ‘high risk’ list, designating HUD as ‘especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.'”

In the case of the Commerce Department, the main problem, Thompson said, “may be in the breadth of its mission…which runs from promoting American competitiveness in the global marketplace to providing the weather data we see on the news each night. The department employs 35,000 people and spends $3.5 billion taxpayer dollars (on) a collection of more than 100 programs.

“The GAO has identified the National Weather Service’s modernization efforts as being a high risk area…. This year planning for the decennial census is expected to be added to that list. In addition, auditors have found significant accounting problems at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Thompson urged the two departments to strive for the most efficient and effective use of their limited resources. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), he said, is an effective tool to make government work better by measuring success or failure of government programs and using this to support budget decisions. GPRA, the Chief Financial Officers Act and the Clinger-Cohen Act represent new initiatives passed by Congress to address essential government management issues designed to reduce government waste, fraud and abuse.

Thompson said he was “sure that together we can work to effectively implement sound management policies and practices, and I look forward to achieving those objectives in this Congress.”