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Rule X, Clause 2(d) of the Rules of the House requires each committee of the House to adopt and submit a two-year oversight plan to the Committees on Government Reform and House Administration by February 15 of the first session of the Congress. The following is the oversight plan for the 106th Congress for the Committee on Government Reform and its eight subcommittees. It details areas in which the Committee and subcommittees plan to conduct oversight, but does not preclude investigation into additional matters as the need arises.

Full Committee


The Committee on Government Reform dates back to 1927, when 11 separate committees were consolidated into the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. In 1952, it was renamed the Committee on Government Operations to better reflect the Committee’s primary mission: to study "the operations of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining their economy and efficiency."

When the Republican Party assumed control of the House in 1995, the Committee broadened its portfolio by absorbing two other standing committees, the Committee on the District of Columbia, and the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service -- achieving substantial cost savings. This new, expanded committee was then renamed the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, to reflect the emerging consensus that government-wide reform was needed to better serve the taxpayers. This January, at the outset of the 106th Congress, that designation was shortened to the Committee on Government Reform.

The Government Reform Committee is widely recognized as the House’s chief oversight committee, acting as a watchdog against waste, fraud and abuse. While all Congressional committees are expected to oversee the agencies under their jurisdiction, the Government Reform Committee’s authority to conduct oversight government-wide sets it apart.

The Committee has frequently been asked to undertake high-profile and sensitive investigations that cut across normal committee jurisdictions. During the 104th Congress, Chairman Bill Clinger undertook the investigation of the improper firings of White House Travel Office workers. This investigation later uncovered the Clinton White House’s improper handling of hundreds of sensitive FBI files.

In the 105th Congress, Chairman Dan Burton was asked to lead the investigation into millions of dollars of illegal foreign contributions that flowed into the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations. In October 1998, the Committee produced an interim report on its investigation. The report detailed in exhaustive fashion millions of dollars in illegal contributions (most originating overseas), along with questionable interactions of DNC fundraisers Charlie Trie, John Huang, Ted Sioeng and Johnny Chung with senior government and Democratic Party officials. The interim report concluded that the DNC had failed to return as much as $1.8 million in illegal and suspect contributions.

Activities for the 106th Congress

Beyond the Beltway:

What’s Working at the State and Local Level

During the 106th Congress, the Committee will undertake a series of hearings to examine innovative reforms undertaken by state and local governments to address some of our nation’s most challenging problems. Under House Rule X, the Committee has jurisdiction over intergovernmental relations: the relationship of the Federal Government to the states and municipalities.

These hearings will explore programs undertaken by state and local governments, as well as private organizations, to fight crime, reform welfare, improve education and reduce taxes. The purpose of these hearings will be to determine if innovative approaches to problems in these areas are getting results, if Federal mandates on the states and localities are hindering further reforms, and if further efforts to scale back Federal rules and regulations will prompt greater innovation by state and local governments.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The Committee plans to continue hearings begun in the 105th Congress into complementary and alternative medicine. According to a recent study, more than 40 percent of Americans use some form of non-conventional medical treatment. The Committee’s hearings will seek to determine if Federal programs meant to promote better research into and understanding of alternative medicines are being implemented properly, if biases toward conventional treatments at the National Institutes of Health and other organizations are hindering clinical trials of alternative medicines, if seriously ill patients are being denied access to experimental treatments, and if sufficient governmental resources are being devoted to this exploding field.

As part of this oversight project, the Committee is expected to examine the FDA’s regulation of dietary supplements, and its track record in speeding up the approval process for drugs for the seriously ill.

Investigation into Illegal Fundraising Activities

The Committee will continue to pursue its investigation into illegal campaign fundraising activities during the 106th Congress. The Committee made substantial headway in this investigation, as evidenced by its 500-page interim report, despite an unprecedented campaign of stalling and obstruction by targets of the investigation. Among the hurdles the Committee struggled to overcome: 121 witnesses asserted their Fifth Amendment rights or fled the country to avoid testifying, foreign governments refused to provide any information as to the origins of foreign money that wound up in DNC bank accounts, the White House for six months failed to produce videotapes of the President at fundraising events with key suspects, and finally, the Attorney General defied a Congressional subpoena to turn over key documents in the investigation and was held in contempt by the Committee for this action.

With a list of 121 individuals refusing to testify, among them close friends and advisors of the President, important questions remain unanswered. These include: "Were foreign governments behind the efforts of key individuals to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns?"; "What did key suspects in this scandal seek in return for their contributions?"; "Did the President or senior government officials have knowledge of illegal campaign activity?"; and "Was the national security jeopardized by any of these actions?". With such central questions left unresolved, the Committee believes it has an obligation to continue to pursue information in this matter.

Waste, Fraud and Mismanagement

Recent reports produced by the General Accounting Office and inspectors general from various agencies have identified serious and longstanding management problems at numerous Federal agencies, as well as billions of dollars lost to endemic waste and fraud. These reports include the GAO’s annual "High-Risk Series," the GAO’s report on "Major Management Challenges and Program Risks," and a survey compiled by agency inspectors general of programs plagued by waste and fraud.

Among the examples of waste identified in these reports are:

  • $20 billion in overpayments by the Medicare program, involving about 11% of all Medicare fee-for-service payments.
  • More than $1 billion a year in overpayments by the Food Stamp program, including payments to prisoners and deceased individuals.
  • Estimates that the Federal Aviation Administration has wasted $1.5 billion in its troubled program to upgrade its Advanced Automation System Program.

Many of the problems identified by the GAO and the inspectors general have persisted for years and cost the taxpayers untold billions of dollars. The Committee will conduct an examination of some of the most egregious examples of waste and mismanagement. The Committee will seek to determine how these problems came into existence, what is being done to attempt to correct them, and why, despite the high priority placed on solving these management problems, they endure from one year to the next.

To further the aims of this project, the Committee will survey the offices of all 435 Members of Congress to determine which agencies create the most serious and frequent casework problems. Anecdotal evidence provided by caseworkers may provide valuable information about chronic programmatic problems that need to be addressed by Congress.

Embassy Security

In the wake of recent terrorist bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the security of U.S. installations overseas has received a great deal of attention. A commission chaired by Admiral William J. Crowe recently issued a report on this matter, only part of which is unclassified.

The Committee will conduct a review of security measures undertaken at U.S. embassies and other U.S. facilities and may hold hearings in this area. The Committee will seek to determine what measures are being undertaken to improve security at U.S. installations, what the most serious vulnerabilities are, and whether sufficient resources are being directed to the problem.

The Committee will consult actively with the House Committee on International Relations, and may ultimately conduct joint hearings on this subject.

Coordination with Subcommittees


The full Committee will continue to work with the Census Subcommittee as it oversees the Census Bureau’s preparation for the Year 2000 Census. The Supreme Court’s recent decision confirming the illegality of the Clinton Administration’s controversial plan to statistically adjust the decennial count reinforces the need for Congressional oversight to ensure that the Census Bureau is prepared to conduct a full and complete enumeration. As the date for the Census approaches, concerns that the Bureau is not prepared to conduct the full count required by the law grow. Vigorous oversight of the Census Bureau’s activities will help guide Congress’ legislative actions in this area. The full Committee will work actively with Subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller to address these issues.

The Year 2000 Computer Problem

Another problem looming on the horizon is the ‘Y2K’ computer glitch. As January 1, 2000 approaches, concerns grow that computer problems could cause disruptions in the delivery of Federal benefits and critical government services. March 31 is the date established by the Office of Management and Budget for Federal agencies to certify that their computer systems are free of Year 2000-related problems. The Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology has held numerous hearings on this matter. The full Committee will work with the Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Steve Horn, to review government efforts to meet this impending challenge.

Postal Reform

The Subcommittee on the Postal Service, chaired by Congressman John McHugh, has conducted extensive oversight of the U.S. Postal Service as it has prepared legislation to reform the Postal Service and make it more competitive. The Subcommittee has planned a series of hearings leading up to a mark-up of Chairman McHugh’s legislation. The full Committee will work hand-in-hand with the Subcommittee to ensure that the bill adequately addresses problems and concerns raised through the oversight process.


The Subcommittee on the Census held a total of 6 hearings in the 105th Congress on matters relating to the oversight of the 2000 Census and its preparations. The subcommittee plans to continue working on a number of oversight and legislative projects started in the last Congress, in addition to many new activities it has begun this Congress. Chairman Miller looks forward to working closely with subcommittee members as well as the Census Bureau to ensure the most accurate count ever.

A. Investigations and Hearings

The subcommittee plans to continue with extensive investigations of the Census operations for the 2000 decennial Census. The subcommittee is continuing with a series of field hearings directed at soliciting suggestions from various community groups, and community leaders throughout the nation. Chairman Miller believes it is important to hear what improvements and suggestions these groups have for a traditional enumeration. Mr. Miller also believes these first hand experiences lend invaluably to the process.

B. Oversight

The Subcommittee plans to continue close oversight of the Census Bureau as it plans to take a full enumeration as required by the Supreme Court in its ruling in William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, et al., Appellants v. Matthew Glavin et al. As part of this oversight, the Subcommittee plans to monitor the following:

1. Oversight of the 2000 Decennial Census Dress Rehearsal and its results.

2. Oversight of the 2000 Decennial Census preparations.

3. Compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the illegality of statistical sampling.

4. Awarding of contracts.

5. Address list development.

6. Content of questionnaire.

7. Mailout/delivery of questionnaire forms.

8. Printing and addressing of questionnaires.

9. Canvass of city style and rural addresses.

10. The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.

11. Master Address Lists.

12. Opening of Local Census Offices.

13. Field office staffing.

14. Telephone assistance.

15. Opening of Data Capture Centers.

16. Data capture system.

17. Automated data processing system.

18. Mailing and/or delivery of advance letters, questionnaires and reminder cards.

19. Be Counted National Campaign.

20. Questionnaire Assistance Centers.

21. Complete Count Committees.

22. Service Based Enumeration.

23. Special population enumeration.

24. Recruitment and training.

25. Paid Advertising.

26. Non-response follow up.

27. Vacant housing unit follow up.

28. Large household follow up.

29. Unduplication of multiple responses.

30. Quality check survey.

31. Demographic analysis.

32. Geographic products.

33. P.L. 94-171 Redistricting data program.

C. Legislative Reforms

The Subcommittee has several substantive pieces of legislation we plan on introducing and passing into law this Congress. The Subcommittee will pursue legislation that will enhance operations of the Census Bureau in an effort to guarantee the most accurate count in the 2000 decennial Census.


The Civil Service Subcommittee’s oversight activities during the 105th Congress included intensive reviews of activities related to retirement coverage, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, Veterans’ Preference as administered by Federal agencies, employee appeals and grievance procedures, and continued efforts at comprehensive reform of civil service laws and regulations. Chairman Joe Scarborough looks forward to strengthening provisions of law protecting hard-earned benefits for Federal employees and annuitants. He welcomes the chance for close collaboration with the Ranking Member in completing significant legislation in these areas and in addressing emergent issues, including the Administration’s human resource management initiatives.

A. Implementation of Legislation

1. Military health care/FEHBP demonstration project -- In last year’s Defense Authorization Act, Congress established a demonstration project to allow up to 66,000 Medicare-eligible military retirees and others to participate in the FEHBP rather than receive military health care. Administration actions have already raised several serious issues concerning its implementation of this project. For example, by capping the total population that will be able to select FEHBP coverage at 66,000, DOD has ensured a much smaller test than Congress intended. Likewise, policies under consideration by OPM, such as requiring carriers to maintain separate reserves for military beneficiaries, also threaten to undermine the demonstration project.

2. Veterans’ preference reforms -- The subcommittee will oversee implementation of the Veterans’ Employment Opportunities Act of 1998. OPM has taken the position that veterans who become Federal employees under the bill’s equal access provision will be placed in the excepted service and, therefor, have fewer rights than their co-workers in the competitive service. A legislative correction may be required. The subcommittee will also review actions taken by OPM, the Department of Labor, the Special Counsel, and the MSPB to implement provisions improving the redress mechanism for veterans and making violations of veterans preference prohibited personnel practices.

3. Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program -- The subcommittee will oversee OPM’s implementation of various improvements made by the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Improvement Act and the open season provided by the Act. The subcommittee will also examine OPM’s study of employee interest in group universal life insurance, group variable universal life insurance, and additional accidental death and dismemberment insurance and options to provide employees with those forms of insurance through commercial carriers.

4. Federal Employees Health Benefits Program -- The subcommittee will examine OPM’s policy guidance for contract year 2000 and changes in FEHBP premiums. It will also oversee OPM’s implementation of provisions of the Federal Employees Health Care Protection Act of 1998 that strengthened OPM’s ability to combat waste and fraud in the FEHBP, sanction unfit providers, and combat the use of so-called silent PPOs. In addition, that Act also established new rules on the readmission of plans to the FEHBP and the distribution of reserves from departing plans. The subcommittee will oversee OPM’s implementation of these specific provisions as well.

B. New Legislative Reforms

1. Correction of erroneous retirement coverage -- The Federal Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (H.R. 416) provides a mechanism to correct agencies’ mistakes in enrolling Federal employees into incorrect retirement systems. This bill is identical to the bill passed unanimously by the House during the 105th Congress following action by the Committee on Ways and Means. The subcommittee looks forward to fruitful discussions with Senate counterparts to bring a timely closure to this difficult problem affecting nearly 20,000 Federal employees and annuitants.

2. Long term care insurance benefit for Federal employees -- The Subcommittee conducted a hearing and developed a legislative proposal in the 105th Congress to provide Federal employees the option to purchase this coverage at group rates. The Administration recently submitted its own proposal to acquire and administer such a benefit for the Federal workforce. There is bipartisan support to create such a benefit option but significant differences still exist in structuring and administering this benefit in the Federal environment.

3. Civil service provisions in the President’s FY2000 budget -- Each year, the Administration includes provisions in its budget submission which affect the civil service constituency. The Committee on the Budget in turn has carried civil service related provisions in past Budget Resolutions. Federal service retirement and health benefits constitute the primary sources of mandatory spending in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Government Reform. Recent Budget Resolutions have affected retirement COLAs, increased retirement contributions, affected health insurance cost sharing, and proposed other changes to current benefits. The subcommittee anticipates additional proposals affecting employee benefits in the FY 2000 budget.

4. Civil service provisions in the 1999 Defense Authorization bill -- The Department of Defense regularly includes provisions affecting civil service rules in its annual authorization bill. Past provisions have addressed personnel reductions, compensation issues, separation incentives, retirement and health benefits. Indications are that the Department, this year, will seek major changes (e.g., waiver of pension reduction for employees who retire before age 55) that could impose substantial costs on the government. The subcommittee works closely with the House Armed Services Committee to ensure that issues raised by Department of Defense are considered in the context of the civilian workforce as a whole.

C. Civil Service Issues

1. Examine proposals to reform the employee appeals system -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been stymied in its attempt to administratively change some aspects of its appeals processes. Federal employees also have access to the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Office of Special Counsel to address concerns related to adverse personnel actions, allegations of discrimination, and other forms of prohibited personnel practices. Case backlogs and patterns of abusive filings are undermining the effectiveness and credibility of the system. There is a growing consensus that the grievance system established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 is in need of reform. Greater reliance on alternative dispute resolution means and agency consolidations are examples of reform options being advanced.

2. Examine proposals to reform the Federal compensation system and pay for performance -- The President has alleged that the pay mechanism established by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 is seriously flawed. He has recommended lower levels of pay raises each year. OPM promised a major review of Federal employees’ compensation, largely in recognition of widening differences between the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Salary Council, and GAO and private sector assessments of Federal pay. The Vice President has recently promoted a "pay for performance" concept that appears at odds with the "pass-fail" performance management standards that the Administration has adopted at many agencies. During the 105th Congress, increasing numbers of bills were introduced to address discrete pay issues, and the Administration appears inclined to combine several of these concerns (e.g., overtime pay ceilings, categories of premium pay, specialty pay, and locality issues) into a coordinated package.

3. Continue oversight over Federal affirmative action programs and employment discrimination in the Federal workplace -- Recent news reports estimate that employment discrimination costs paid by Federal agencies exceed $860 million since 1990. The appeals processes available to Federal employees require extensive periods to hear cases, and result in reversals of agency actions in fewer than 10 percent of cases. Although the President promised to "mend, not end" affirmative action programs following the Supreme Court’s decision in Adarand v. Pena, subsequent cases have declared agency policies unconstitutional. The subcommittee conducted three hearings on employment discrimination during 1997, and has directed additional attention to specific agency problems in this area.

4. Continue oversight of OPM’s management of the FEHB program -- The subcommittee regularly reviews the annual call letter and annual premium setting to examine the justifications for proposed changes of policy and to monitor their impact on health insurance premiums.

5. Investigate the frequency and extent of problems in OPM processing of retirement claims -- OPM claims relatively few problems in the administration of retirement benefits, but Member offices receive numerous complaints. OPM’s information systems dealing with retirement data have the objects of some controversy and the agency is under pressure to develop a new system under tight deadlines.

6. Investigate violations of the Hatch Act and Pendleton Act -- The Hatch Act amendments of 1993 increased Federal employees’ abilities to participate in political activities. The Pendleton Act has not been updated for 100 years. Recent campaign finance abuses have underscored to need to clarify certain provisions of these acts and to strengthen punitive sanctions to enhance enforcement capabilities.

7. Investigate the use and abuse of authorities to hire temporary Federal employees -- Federal land management agencies -- particularly the Forest Service -- appear to have numerous employees retained as "temporary" employees for extensive periods (as long as 20 years in some cases). The practices have been criticized by OPM, GAO, and several specific task forces, but problems appear not to have been resolved. Furthermore, current practices concerning provision or denial of benefits to temporary employees are in need of review.

8. Investigate abuses in the use of Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments -- The Committee has received reports of Federal employees serving with interest groups and conducting lobbying for these groups while receiving government salaries. Other abuses include use of this authority to appoint people whose primary qualifications are political, use of the IPA authority to staff task forces (e.g., the President’s Health Care Task Force), and use of this authority to provide sinecures for political appointees when agency leadership changes.

9. Investigate the use of official time by Federal employees to pursue union work and to lobby; and examine the extent of Federal subsidies to Federal unions -- A report from OPM required by a Treasury-Postal Appropriations amendment (sponsored by Mr. Miller) documented that Federal agencies supported union operations to the extent of nearly $58 million in salary and office expenses in the first half of FY-1998. It appears that use of official time has expanded significantly since the President’s Executive Order creating the National Partnership Council. OPM argued that the benefits of partnership justify these costs, but the report warrants scrutiny.

10. Examine proposals to reform the Federal Workers Compensation Act -- GAO reported that more than 1/4 of FECA beneficiaries receive compensation greater than the salary that they received as employees. The Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture have approached the Subcommittee about increased costs of providing these benefits, and documented several anomalies in the program that leave people in extended periods as beneficiaries rather than moving to retirement. The Committee on Education and the Workforce has worked closely with the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General to identify concerns about the program and to develop a start on proposed modifications of current benefits.

11. Examine proposals for retirement system reforms, including funding mechanisms and benefit portability -- Federal employees’ retirement benefits are not funded on an actuarially sound basis. As a result, the Treasury must rely on taxpayers to provide most of the funding for current and future benefits. Reforms should incorporate measures for more secure funding and greater portability of benefits to accommodate a more mobile workforce.

D. Agency Oversight

The Subcommittee exercises its oversight responsibility to ensure that agency activities are in compliance with the role and mission established by the Congress. The agencies in the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction include:

1. Office of Personnel Management -- overall policy and operation of Federal personnel systems;

2. Merit Systems Protection Board -- appeals of adverse personnel actions and studies to evaluate impact of merit systems on Federal employment;

3. Federal Labor Relations Authority -- labor-management policies and impasse resolution in the Federal sector;

4. Office of Government Ethics -- oversight of conflict of interest laws and clearances of appointees seeking Senate confirmation;

5. Office of Special Counsel -- investigation and prosecution of violations of prohibited personnel practices, allegations of retaliation, and Whistleblower Protection Act;

6. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Federal sector) -- review of employment discrimination disputes in the Federal sector, adjudication of appeals, and establishment of agency procedures governing these areas; and,

7. Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board -- administers the Thrift Savings Plan accounts of Federal employees’ retirement.


The Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources maintains jurisdiction over the domestic and international aspects of the Nation’s anti-drug or counter-narcotics efforts, portions of which span fifty-four Federal agencies. During the 105th Congress, a variety of hearings were held into the effectiveness and needs relating to prevention, treatment, law enforcement, interdiction and source country counter-narcotics programs. That oversight effort will intensify, with special attention to exploring new problem areas and potential legislative reforms. In addition, the Subcommittee will examine the panoply of programs administered by agencies at the Department of Justice, and will pursue aggressive oversight of the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Commerce, as well as several associated agencies.

U.S. Counter-Narcotics Efforts - A thorough review of the effectiveness of U.S. anti-drug programs, including programs aimed at stemming drug-related crime, will be undertaken. Agencies that will receive special scrutiny include those administering source country anti-drug programs in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, India, Thailand, Laos, and other source or transit nations in the Caribbean and Far East, as well as domestic programs involving drug treatment and prevention. In addition, attention will be directed at the needs and effectiveness of Federal programs run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Coast Guard, Customs, State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, Border Patrol, FinCen, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as programs administered by the United Nations Drug Control Policy Office, Joint Interagency Task Forces, the Defense Department’s Joint Task Force Six, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas nationwide. Topics under special consideration include the ONDCP Performance Measures of Effectiveness System, Scoring of the so-called Federal drug budget, the Mexican drug problem, international money laundering, the drug legalization movement, and Federal agency corruption.

Drug Legislation Oversight - A review of the degree of compliance with legislative mandates stemming from passage in 1998 of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization, the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act, the Drug Free Communities Act, the Federal Demand Reduction Act, Drug Free Workplace Act, Drug Free Prisons and Jails Treatment Act, Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Speed Trafficking Act. Other programs to be scrutinized include the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, various Federal treatment programs, the Federal anti-drug media campaign, and programs administered by a variety of other Federal drug control agencies.

A. Department of Justice

1. Citizenship USA - The Subcommittee will continue to follow-up oversight efforts begun in 1996 into the mismanagement of the Citizenship USA Program, including follow-up meetings, document review and possible hearings.

2. Criminal Justice Deficiencies in Prosecuting Medicare Fraud - Congressional efforts to investigate and monitor the Department’s pursuit of fraud in the area of Medicare, and related or similar programs will be pursued.

3. Government Performance and Results Act Compliance - There will be a thorough review of GPRA compliance, both at the Department and across the affected agencies.

4. Shifts in Prosecutorial Priorities - Potential and actual shifts in prosecutorial priorities will be examined to determine whether such shifts have been effective and whether there have been opportunity costs associated with these reported shifts.

5. General investigation, based on GAO, IG, and CI contacts, of Mis-, Mal-, and Non-Feasance by various components of the Department as necessary. Review of duplication and redundancy in program missions and roles.

B. Human Resources

1. Health and Human Resources - The Subcommittee will review compliance by the Department with the Government Performance and Results Act, both at the Department and across various agencies. General investigation, based on GAO, IG, and CI contacts, of Mis-, Mal-, and Non-Feasance by various components of the Department as necessary. Review of duplication and redundancy in program missions and roles. Special attention may be directed toward a review of the Early Head Start program effectiveness; the efficacy of the Child Support Enforcement Administration’s efforts at "deadbeat Dad" debt collection (including various alternatives); waste, fraud and abuse within the Medicaid and Medicare programs, including the efficacy of the Health Care Financing Administration.

2. Education - The Subcommittee will review compliance by the Department with the Government Performance and Results Act, both at the Department and across various agencies. General investigation, based on GAO, IG, and CI contacts, of Mis-, Mal-, and Non- Feasance by various components of the Department as necessary. Review of duplication and redundancy. Special attention may be directed toward a review of GAO High Risk Areas; the relationship between the ever-increasing amount of Federal student aid and increases in post-secondary education costs (especially the student loan program); and the Federal Family Education Loan program and borrowing for payments to foreign schools. Finally, the overarching mission of the Department and its role in the national educational priorities, as well as cooperation with state and local authorities, may be examined more closely.

3. Housing and Urban Development - The Subcommittee will review compliance by the Department with the Government Performance and Results Act, both at the Department and across various agencies. General investigation, based on GAO, IG, and CI contacts, of Mis-, Mal-, and Non-Feasance by various components of the Department as necessary. Review of duplication and redundancy. Special attention may be directed toward a review of High Risk areas identified by GAO, namely weaknesses in internal controls, ineffective and unreliable information gathering and use, financial management systems, overlapping responsibilities among various components within the Department, and poor staff training. Also under consideration for more detailed review are the Empowerment Zone Program, programs dedicated to rehabilitation of public housing, treatment of HUD-supported property owners, and the overarching issues of fraud within the Department and the Department’s role in the cooperating with state and local authorities.

4. Commerce - The Subcommittee will review compliance by the Department with the Government Performance and Results Act, both at the Department and across various agencies. General investigation, based on GAO, IG and CI contacts, of Mis-, Mal-, and Non-Feasance by various components of the Department as necessary. Review of duplication and redundancy. Special attention may be directed toward a review of how Commerce coordinates with other Federal trade agencies, how the Department’s activities have affected the U.S. Trade Deficit, remaining responsibilities for export control, activities of the Maritime Administration, SBA, SEC, U.S. International Trade Commission, and Office of U.S. Trade Representative.


During the 105th Congress, the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia held 19 oversight hearings and moved a major piece of legislation, Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, District of Columbia Revitalization, also known as the "National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997." This law followed up on the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 also known as the "District of Columbia Financial Control Board." The District of Columbia Revitalization Act addressed problems of a wide range of service delivery issues in the District by enacting reforms in areas such as pensions, management reform, criminal justice, tax collection, accumulated deficit and regulatory reform financing. During the 106th Congress, the subcommittee plans to continue its oversight of the District of Columbia by reviewing several matters, some of which may require coordination with other committees such as Education and the Workforce, Transportation and Infrastructure, Judiciary, and Appropriations. An oversight hearing was held on January 22, 1999, on New Vision for the District of Columbia with newly elected Mayor Anthony Williams, D. C. Control Board Chairwoman, Alice Rivlin and D. C. City Council Chairwoman, Linda Cropp.

A. Oversight and Legislation

1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - Review the MOU drafted between the Mayor’s office and the D. C. Control Board which transfers certain responsibilities back to the Office of the Mayor from the D.C. Control Board. Legislation to revert authority over nine key D.C. Agencies from the D.C. Control Board to the mayor.

2. Public Safety - Review public safety in the District of Columbia.

3. Finances (P.L. 104-8) - Continue to review the District of Columbia’s financial condition.

4. Education - Oversight of District of Columbia’s education emergency Board of Trustees and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman. Introduce a college tuition incentive bill for D. C. high school students which would provide in-state tuition rates at public universities outside the District of Columbia.

5. District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority - Continue monitoring the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Facility and its impact on the Washington Metropolitan region.

6. Department of Corrections - Review the operations of the Lorton Correctional Facility with respect to the Trustees as it goes through the closing phase. Reviews of contracts with the Corrections Corporation of America.

7. Public Housing - Review public housing in the District - the receivership aspect.

8. Health - Oversight review of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the mental health system of the District of Columbia. Review needs of other hospitals, reimbursement issues, roles of teaching hospitals.

9. P.L. 105-33 - Oversight of District of Columbia Finance Responsibility Assistance Management Authority’s implementation of P.L. 105-33.

10. District of Columbia Courts - Oversight of Administrative Management of the District of Columbia Superior Courts.

11. Year 2000 Oversight Correction - Oversight of implementation of corrections to the Year 2000 problem for the District of Columbia Government


The Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology’s focus in the 105th Congress was primarily on oversight activities having conducted approximately 80 hearings. The subcommittee also considered substantial legislation, much of it resulting from the oversight activities. The subcommittee held 8 markups, reporting a total of 12 bills to the full Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. Among the legislation falling in the subcommittee’s jurisdiction, five bills were enacted into law. Much of the oversight activity in the 106th Congress will build upon the results of our previous work.

A. Legislative Implementation Oversight

1. Debt Collection Improvement Act - The subcommittee will continue its review of the implementation of the Debt Collection Improvement Act. The Act provides agencies the tools to collect Federal debts by providing centralized administrative offset and cross-servicing authority.

2. Travel and Transportation Reform Act - Public Law 105-264 is designed to remedy poor management of the Federal Government’s massive travel expenditures. The bill aims to eliminate obstacles to better management by encouraging a concerted effort by Federal managers to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of travel by Federal employees.

3. Inspector General Act - The subcommittee will consider impact and efficacy of the Act, now in its 20th year as law. The subcommittee will focus on the due process requirements of inspectors general in their investigations.

4. Clinger-Cohen Act - The subcommittee will review this Act, which established statutory Chief Information Officers in Federal departments and agencies, to determine the efficacy of its provisions.

5. Government Performance and Results Act - The subcommittee will review the status of the Executive Branch’s implementation of the Act which, among other things, measures program performance and requires the establishment of programmatic goals.

6. Single Audit Act - The Act establishes audit requirements for State and local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations receiving Federal financial aid. The subcommittee will review the impact of the amendments enacted during the 104th Congress.

7. Federal Acquisition Reform Act - The subcommittee plans to examine the implementation of the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996. This Act reduces unnecessary costs, regulations, and bureaucracy in government procurement through reforming the commercial acquisition system. The Act reduces the need for formal written certifications, enhances international competitiveness, and encourages competition.

8. Federal Advisory Committee Act - Public Law 105-153 establishes guidelines that the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy on Public Administration must follow. The law exempts the full application of the Act from the groups.

9. Government Management Reform Act - The Act’s requirement of an audited consolidated financial statement will be reviewed.

B. Information Technology Oversight

In the first session of the 106th Congress, the subcommittee will conduct extensive oversight of the status of Federal departments and agencies’ efforts to prepare for the Year 2000 computer problem. This will include the actions of State, local and foreign governments, as well as those of private sector entities, in addressing the Year 2000 problem. This review will focus on the impact of their actions as they relate to the ability of the Federal Government to perform its functions. In addition, the subcommittee will examine the Administration’s expenditure of the emergency supplemental appropriations for Year 2000 fixes. Other problems associated with the procurement and implementation of technology systems will be reviewed.

C. Financial Management Controls Oversight

1. Agency Financial Management - The status of departments and agencies’ efforts to receive clean opinions on their financial statements will be considered by the subcommittee.

2. Internal Revenue Service - The subcommittee will continue its consideration of the status of efforts to address the financial management problems within this division of the Department of the Treasury.

3. Department of Defense - The department’s ability to produce reliable financial statements will be reviewed.

4. Oil Royalty Revenue Collection - The status of the Minerals Management Service’s efforts to address underpayments to the Federal Government of royalties on crude oil drilled on Federally controlled lands will be reviewed.

5. Customs Service - A review of the Customs Service’s management practices and its policy on allocation of resources will occur.

6. Forest Service - The subcommittee will review the agency’s internal controls as they relate to its ability to produce accurate and auditable financial statements.

D. Agency Oversight

The subcommittee will hold oversight hearings, examining the roles and missions of selected departments and agencies, to determine whether they are fulfilling their mission.


E. Government Management Oversight

1. Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs - Review of the administration of the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

2. Statistical Agency Consolidation - The subcommittee will examine proposals to consolidate the primary statistical functions of the Federal Government.

3. General Accounting Office’s High Risk Report - Examination of the programs highlighted by the GAO as at high risk of waste, fraud, and abuse.

4. Federal Telecommunications Services Contract - The subcommittee will conduct oversight on the government’s long-distance telecommunications service.

F. Information Policy Oversight

The subcommittee will review the Federal Government’s information policies, including the impact of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts.

Subcommittee on National Economic Growth,
Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs

The Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs held 19 hearings in the 105th Congress on a range of issues from environmental policy, such as global climate change, particulate matter and ozone, and superfund cleanup, to legislative proposals, such as the Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act Amendments and the Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis Creation Act. The subcommittee completed the investigation into the White House Database during the 105th Congress. The White House Database was a program that tracked sensitive personal and political information of 400,000 individuals and 80,000 organizations and businesses. The subcommittee will continue its oversight of the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Congressional Review Act, and has plans for additional legislation, especially in the regulatory reform area.

A. Oversight

1. Agency Compliance with the Congressional Review Act (CRA) - The subcommittee will continue oversight on the type of agency rules and reports that must be submitted under the CRA. The subcommittee will review the final rules, reports, and cost-benefit analyses submitted under the CRA, and provide assistance with passage of resolutions of disapproval.

2. Agency Compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) - The subcommittee will continue oversight of the role of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in enforcing the PRA, including compliance with the statutory requirement for OMB to identify specific paperwork reduction accomplishments expected, constituting 5 percent reductions in paperwork expected in fiscal year 1999 and in fiscal year 2000.

3. Oversight of OMB/OIRA’s Regulatory Review Performance - The subcommittee will continue to examine overall regulatory activity (e.g., number of rules issued, number reviewed, and number returned to the agencies); OIRA’s record on improving economic analyses; and OIRA’s record in evaluating and reporting on total Federal regulatory costs and benefits, as required by law.

4. Oversight of Individual Regulations - The subcommittee will continue oversight of individual regulations, especially in the environmental area.

5. Global Climate Change - The subcommittee will continue to hold hearings on the Kyoto Protocol and the Administration’s global climate change initiatives, including the Administration’s overall budget request and its compliance with specific statutory provisions in the climate change area. The subcommittee will also examine legislative proposals relating to the Kyoto Protocol and credit for voluntary early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.

B. Legislation

1. Regulatory Reform Legislation - The subcommittee will examine legislative proposals, such as those relating to the public’s right to know the costs and benefits of regulatory programs and to required cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments for major rules. The subcommittee will continue to pursue amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act for small businesses and legislation to create a Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis.

2. Global Climate Change - The subcommittee will consider legislative proposals, including those relating to the Kyoto Protocol and credit for voluntary early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.


A. Oversight

1. US Efforts to Combat Terrorism - The subcommittee will continue its comprehensive, government-wide review of efforts to combat terrorism both domestically and abroad. This effort will examine the national strategy, agency roles and missions, and inter-agency coordination.

2. Scientific Feasibility and Ease of Terrorist Use of Chemical/Biological Agents to Cause Mass Casualties - At the request of the subcommittee and other committees, GAO is reviewing which chemical and biological agents pose a credible threat of mass casualties; the degree of difficulty in effectively producing and delivering such agents; the likelihood of a successful Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) attack; and, potential medical treatments.

3. Counterterrorism Best Practices - A review of the best practices of foreign governments in counterterrorism programs.

4. Federal Preparedness to Conduct Counterterrorism Operations - The subcommittee will continue its review of agency efforts to prepare for a counterterrorism operation.

5. Role of the National Guard and Reserves in Consequence Management of Domestic WMD Terrorist Incidents - The subcommittee will continue to examine the role of the National Guard and Reserves in the consequence management of domestic WMD terrorist incidents.

6. Air Support for Counterterrorist Operations - FBI primarily relies on DOD to provide air support in order to carry out its mission to investigate, arrest, and bring to justice terrorists located overseas. In the wake of recent terrorist incidents, concerns over the timeliness and quality of DOD air support to the FBI has arisen. At the request of the subcommittee, GAO is reviewing the process by which DOD air support is requested and subsequently made available to the FBI to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the current process and to recommend improvements if necessary.

7. First-responder Training - Review of the Federally-funded training of first-responders in reacting to the consequences of a terrorist attack involving WMD.

8. OMB Efforts to Manage Funding of Agency Terrorism-related Programs to Combat Terrorism - The subcommittee will review OMB efforts to establish a reporting system for executive agencies to account for the budget and expenditure of funds for counterterrorism and antiterrorism program and activities.

9. President’s Annual Report to Congress on Counterterrorism and Antiterrorism Activities - The subcommittee will conduct a review of this report upon its issuance to Congress.

10. National Coordinator for Security, Counterterrorism, and Critical Infrastructure - The subcommittee will examine the role of the National Coordinator for Security, Counterterrorism, and Critical Infrastructure within the National Security Council and the organizational structure established by the National Coordinator to coordinate crosscutting counterterrorism and antiterrorism activities and initiatives.

11. U.S. Government Programs to Secure, Reduce, Control and Account for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Materials in Russia and the Newly Independent States - The subcommittee will examine U.S. Government programs designed to secure, reduce, control, and account for weapons of mass destruction materials, and limit the spread of WMD technology and expertise to rogue nations or terrorist groups.

12. National Security Implications of Y2K - The subcommittee will continue to monitor the progress of the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community’s efforts to become Y2K compliant and potential national security implications of Y2K noncompliance.

13. National Security Implications of Continuing Economic, Political, and Social Instability in Russia and the Newly Independent States - In light of the continued economic, political, and social turmoil in Russia and certain newly independent states, the subcommittee plans to examine the effectiveness of US programs and initiatives currently being implemented to address the situation.

14. The Future of NATO - NATO expansion, the Bosnia conflict, continued tensions between NATO members Greece and Turkey, ethnic tensions in the newly independent states, and relations with Russia all are important factors in the development of NATO’s mission for the next century. The subcommittee plans to explore the effects of these factors on the role of NATO in the post-Cold War era.

15. Defense Operation Management - The subcommittee will examine operational and support consolidation activities that cross service lines as defense force reductions occur.

16. Defense Inventory Management - The subcommittee will examine the Department of Defense’s inventory management procedures, including DOD’s ability to know the location and condition of all its assets.

17. Weapon Systems Acquisition - The subcommittee will examine the general issues surrounding weapon system acquisitions including the cost of development, development time through deployment, and anticipated weapon system performance.

18. Defense Procurement - Risks have been identified in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) contracting procedures. The subcommittee will examine contracting activity, including issues of erroneous, and improper payments to contractors, and payment of higher prices for commercial spare parts than necessary. In addition, the subcommittee will examine the globalization of the defense industry.

19. Military Base Realignment and Closure - The subcommittee will examine the benefits and challenges of additional military base closures including the impact of environmental cleanup.

20. The Results Act - The subcommittee will examine the Department of Defense’s commitment to develop goals, performance measures, and time frames for DOD programs and operations.

21. NASA -The subcommittee will examine how NASA has encouraged the commercial application and privatization of the space program.

22. Embassy Security - The subcommittee will review State Department plans to increase security in the wake of bombings at two U.S. embassies. The subcommittee will also consider how the Department determines the number of overseas posts, the changing role of the ambassador, and the potential for new technology to reduce U.S. presence and vulnerability overseas.

23. International Assistance - The subcommittee will review implementation of the statutorily mandated consolidation of U.S. aid agencies and programs, specifically steps to measure the effectiveness and increase the accountability of foreign aid.

24. FEMA - The subcommittee will review FEMA’s role in the detection, prevention and mitigation of domestic mass casualty incidents involving chemical or biological agents.

25. Media Access to Combat - The subcommittee will examine the mechanics and implications of the international media’s coverage of armed conflicts. The inquiry will focus on the extent to which real-time television coverage of wars compromises U.S. military strategy and the safety of our troops, as well as its ability to influence foreign policy decisions and promote the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.

26. DOD: Outcomes and Quality Measures for Health Care Delivery - The subcommittee will look at DOD’s ability to measure health care outcomes and ensure quality of care in health care delivery, as an important component of quality of life for military personnel and a relevant part of overall military readiness.

27. VA: The Successes and Failures in the Implementation of VISN and VERA - The subcommittee will review Veterans Administration health care system integration and funding allocation policies (VISN and VERA) to learn the extent to which those policies improve access and health care quality.

28. VA and DOD: Progress in Improving Collaboration, Coordination and Delivery of Health Care - The subcommittee will review existing agreements between the VA and DOD to share staff, resources and facilities in the delivery of care to active duty and retired military personnel. In this effort, the subcommittee will monitor the activities of the joint VA, DOD and HHS "Military and Veterans Health Coordinating Board" established by executive order.

29. DOD and VA: Government Actions to Prevent/Reduce Post-conflict Health Problems - The subcommittee will review what actions the agencies have taken to reduce, avoid, prevent health problems subsequent to future military missions through education on health risks, medical and non-medical counter-measures, improvement in government collection of risk and exposure information, as well as coordination of research programs and sharing of health information of military personnel into veteran status.

30. DOD: Contracting Issues in the Acquisition of Information Systems Supporting Health Care Delivery - The subcommittee will review DOD’s contract with SAIC and the long-term effort to implement an appropriate information system to facilitate access, record keeping, claims processing and administration of health care delivery to military personnel.

31. Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses - The subcommittee will continue to examine the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense approach to the health complaints of Gulf War veterans to insure that research and treatment options are being vigorously pursued. As part of this review, the subcommittee will monitor agency compliance with the legislative mandates contained in Section 1601 of P.L. 105-277 regarding a presumption of service connection for certain Gulf War illnesses.

32. Quality of Life of U.S. Military Personnel - The subcommittee will examine the issues relating to the quality of life for members of the uniformed services and their families such as: health care, compensation equity, family support services, retiree and survivor benefits, housing, relocation, dependent education, and general moral, particularly as these issues relate to force retention.

33. Readiness of U.S. Military Personnel - The subcommittee will examine the question: Are U.S. forces doing too much? The issue is whether the military, in an era of force reductions, can maintain an effective level of readiness for high intensity conflict while at the same time meet its mission requirements on a global basis, including regional peacekeeping.


 A. Legislative Agenda

1. Modernization of the Nation’s Postal Laws: The subcommittee will continue its extensive hearings and analysis of the challenges facing the Postal Service under the current governance structure as conducted in the 104th and 105th Congresses. On September 24, 1998, the subcommittee approved H.R. 22, the Postal Modernization Act, in a bipartisan manner. The subcommittee will proceed with additional hearings and meetings with interested parties in order to achieve consensus among various stakeholders with interests affected by the Postal Service.

Fundamental topics to be considered as part of postal reform include:

  • Competition - the extent to which the Postal Service should be allowed to compete with private sector interests to sustain its universal service infrastructure, the extent to which unfair competition laws should be applied to the Service, and the scope of the Service’s statutory monopoly over the delivery of letter mail in light of this competition;
  • Ratemaking - the ability to set rates based on a standard inflation index as adjusted by a productivity factor as a method of breaking the outdated, lengthy, and confusing cost-based ratemaking process and its associated lack of incentives for efficiency; and
  • Increased criminal penalties for misuse of the mails

The subcommittee intends to conduct hearings that will focus on the current version of the legislation as approved by the subcommittee in the 105th Congress.

(Hearings: Winter 1999)

2. Honesty in Sweepstakes: The subcommittee will address legislation that seeks to address fraud resulting from the misuse of the mails by entities using sweepstakes that promise prizes, winnings, etc., in a dishonest and deceptive manner.

(Hearings: Spring 1999)

3. Post Office Designations: The subcommittee will address legislation designating post offices for individuals, once the sponsor has received the cosponsorship of the entire State delegation in which the facility is located. This policy has been endorsed and followed by the full Committee since the 104th Congress and the subcommittee recommends its incorporation into the Committee Rules for the 106th Congress.

(Hearings: As necessary throughout the Congress)

B. Oversight Agenda

1. General Oversight Hearing - In each Session of Congress, the subcommittee will conduct a general oversight hearing to explore current problems and challenges facing postal operations and services. Witnesses will tentatively include the Postmaster General, the Chairmen of both the Postal Service’s Board of Governors and the Postal Rate Commission (PRC). Additionally, the subcommittee will seek the comments of numerous other interested parties including postal employee unions and organizations; trade associations representing mail users such as advertising, newspapers, magazines and parcels mailers; and competing private sector firms such as express, parcel, and mailbox companies.

2. Y2K - The plans to review, in concert with the appropriate sister subcommittee, the Postal Service’s readiness for the Y2K computer challenges. Given that many entities view the Postal Service as their contingency/back-up in case of system problems, the Postal Service becomes a key organization for review.

3. Measurement of Delivery Standards - In light of questions raised in the 105th Congress by the Postal Inspection Service and the Inspector General regarding the reliability and accuracy of the Postal Service’s speed of delivery measurement system, the subcommittee will review the effectiveness of the Postal Service’s purported corrective actions.

4. International Mail - The subcommittee will review issues related to the international mail market, specifically the role of the State Department in implementing a statutory change in the 105th Congress that requires it to represent the United States at the Universal Postal Union.

5. Inspector General Oversight - It is anticipated that the subcommittee will hear from the Inspector General on the operations of her 2-year-old office.

6. Postal Service Data Measurement - The review of the quality of data submitted by the Postal Service to the Postal Rate Commission will be continued during the 106th Congress. During conduct of oversight hearings, the subcommittee was made aware of concerns regarding the quality of the data the USPS submits to the PRC, and the subcommittee expects to receive the results of a study by an independent third­party in an attempt to improve the quality of the data.

7. Address Privacy - The subcommittee will continue to review this topic in light of the General Accounting Office report on the National Change of Address (NCOA) program and the accompanying privacy questions.

8. Labor­Management Relations - The subcommittee plans to continue to monitor the status of labor­management relations within the Service.

9. Accountability - The subcommittee will continue its focus on accountability and revenue protection within this $60 billion operation. The General Accounting Office and the Inspector General are preparing various reports on the Service’s efforts to improve internal controls in a variety of areas including bulk mail operations, money-by-wire programs, and purchasing.

10. Compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act - The subcommittee will be closely monitoring performance plans and reports. This Act provides an excellent opportunity to enhance Congressional oversight on postal performance. The subcommittee will be working with the Full Committee and other oversight committees to monitor the effectiveness of this very important Act.

11. Workers Compensation Costs - In 1995 the Postal Service recognized $877.3 million in workers compensation expenses compared to $326.8 million in fiscal 1994. Obviously, the Postal Service is a labor-intensive enterprise and can be expected to have injuries. However, the subcommittee believes this to be an area in need of serious review, particularly the implementation of the Department of Labor’s additional enforcement tools that were enacted in the 105th Congress to ensure the Postal Service’s compliance with the OSHA laws.

12. Budget Issues - The Subcommittee remains concerned that despite its off-budget status, the USPS may be targeted to provide a source of funds for Federal budgetary savings which could result in higher postage rates for consumers.