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TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT REAGAN'S OPENING STATEMENT
AT PRESS CONFERENCE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1982
I have an opening statement as you've been told and
then a comment that I'd like to make.
In my State of the Union address, ! said the time
would come to control the uncontrollable and runaway government
spending, and I also indicated that I would be announcing
further measures to achieve this goal. Today, I am making such
The need for the step I'm taking is clear.
Our government is spending money at a rate that is intolerable, if not incomprehensible--almost two billion dollars a day, one million, four hundred thousand dollars a minute and about
twenty-three thousand dollars a second. And if I could
estimate correctly how long it took me to get in here, I'd teli you how much was spent during that time. Then you'd find me wrong. The interest on our national debt alone is greater than the entire budget of many countries. It's simply not right for
us to squander money that our grandchildren will be held
we must reverse the process. As an important
step in this direction, I am announcing the establishment of the private sector survey on cost control in the federal
government. This presidential initiative will be conducted by outstanding experis from the private sector. They will report directly to me and I've made it clear that in examining government efficiency I expect them to roll up their sleeves
and search out waste and inefficiency wherever it's to be found
in the federal establishment. This is not going to be just
another blue ribbon ornamental panel. We mean business and we
responsible for an indepth review of the entire executive
branch of government. Working with the inspectors General and the Council on Integrity and Efficiency which have provided an inside look on how we can improve management of the executive branch, the private sector survey will give us an objective outsiders' view on improving management and reducing federal costs. Special emphasis will be placed on eliminating overlap, red tape and duplication, identifying non-essential administrative activities and increasing management effectiveness. In a few days, I will announce the names of
distinguished Americans who will serve as the chairman and •
members of the executive commitee of the survey.
All of them
will be proven leaders in their fields, all of them will bring
know-how and a no nonsense, results oriented approach to this crucial undertaking, and all of them will offer their services es unsalaried volunteers.
Uur evaluation will begin with the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development. in turn, other departments and major agencies will be given a detailed evaluation. This will be the largest effort of its kind ever mounted to save tax dollars and improve the working of government. The American people deserve no less. It's their money the government is spending in such oversized amounts to often unwisely and wastefully. I will ask the Congress to cooperate in putting the recommendations of the survey into practice. .
Government has grown too fast and the economic stakes for the American people are too high for politics as usual. On this vital issue. We all face an economic problem that has been building over many years and we must all work together to correct it.
PRESIDENT'S PRIVATE SECTOR SURVEY ON COST CONTROL
IN THE. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish; in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. I), an advisory Committee to study cost control in the Federal Government, it is, hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. (a) There is established the Executive Committee of the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in the Federal Government. The Committee shall be composed of not more. than 150 members appointed by the President from among citizens in private life.
(b) The President shall designate a Chairman from among the members of the Committee.
Sec. 2. Functions. (a) The Committee shall conduct a private sector survey on cost control in the Federal Government and shall advise the President and the Secretary of Commerce, and other Executive agency heads with respect to improving management and reducing costs.
(b) The Committee shall conduct in-depth reviews of the operations of the Executive agencies as a basis for evaluating potential improvements in agency operations.
(c) In fulfilling its functions the Committee shall consider providing recommendations in the following areas:
(1) Opportunities for increased efficiency and reduced costs in the Federal Government that can be realized by Executive action or legislation;
(2) Areas where managerial accountability can be enhanced.: and administrative control can be improved;
(3) Opportunities for managerial improvements over both the short and long term;
curthe (4) Specific areas where further study can be justified by potential savings; and (5)
Information and data relating to governmental expenditures, indebtedness, and personnel. management.
Sec. 3. Administration. (a) The heads of Executive agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, .provide to the Secretary of Commerce, the Committee and its staff units such information, including that relating to the .structure, organization, personnel and operations of the Executive agencics, as may be required for carrying. out the purposes of this Order.
(6) Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation.
(c) A management office may provide overall administrative staff support to the Committee, guide the day-to-day operations of the survey and provide liaison with the Executive orrice of the President; separate unit starfs may be utilized to provide such starr support as is necessary to accomplish reviews of individual agencies.
The Secretary of Commerce shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of funds, provide the Committee with such information, administrative services, facilities, staff and other support services it may require.
(e) The Committee is to be funded, staffed and equipped, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, by the private sector without cost to the Federal Government. To accomplish this objective, it is expected that the Secretary of Commerce will engage in a joint project, with a nonprofit organization, pursuant to Section 1 of Public Law 91-412 (15 U.S.č. 1525), for the purpose of providing staff support to the Committee as described in Section 3(c).
Sec. 4. General Provisions.. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Executive order, the responsibilities of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, except that of reporting annually to the Congress, which are applicable to the Committee established by this Order, shall be performed by the Secretary of Comaerce in accordance with guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.
(b) In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act; as amended, the Committee shall: terminate on December 31, 1982, unless sooner extended.'
THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 30, 1982.