CUOMO ANNOUNCES HISTORIC MANAGEMENT REFORMS FOR HUD
TO STAMP OUT WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE AND IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
WASHINGTON -- Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced
historic management reforms to enable the Department of Housing
and Urban Development to stamp out waste, fraud and abuse with a
new Enforcement Division, and to help HUD better serve America's
people and communities with improved business practices.
The management reform plan -- called HUD 2020 -- says it
aims to transform HUD from "the poster child for inept
government" that "has been plagued for years by scandal and
mismanagement" into "a new HUD, a HUD that works."
HUD has been criticized by Congress and its Inspector
General since 1980 for failing to modernize operations and fight
waste, fraud and abuse. The General Accounting Office designates
HUD as the only "high risk" agency in the federal government.
Vice President Al Gore, who has spearheaded government
reinvention under President Clinton, said HUD 2020 "goes farther
and does more than any other management reform plan not only in
the history of HUD but in the recent history of the federal
"Our plan adopts major reforms that have improved the
performance of some of America's most successful corporations,"
Cuomo said. "The reforms knock down bureaucratic walls within HUD
to enable all parts of the Department to work together in a
productive partnership with our nation's people and communities.
Our key objectives are outstanding performance, efficiency, and
accountability to the American people. We will not allow a single
dollar to be wasted."
HUD 2020 was developed at Cuomo's direction by HUD staff
with the help of Vice President Gore's office, the Office of
Management and Budget, the HUD Inspector General's Office, and
outside experts including Ernst & Young, David Osborne (co-author
of "Reinventing Government") and James Champy (co-author of "Re-
engineering the Corporation").
Key reforms in HUD 2020 include:
HUD will implement most of the reforms on its own authority,
but portions of some require Congressional approval.
- Creating a new Enforcement Division to fight waste, fraud
- Retraining some HUD employees as Community Builders to
serve as HUD's service representatives for the public and
retraining other employees as Public Trust Officers to monitor
recipients of HUD funding.
- Consolidating over 300 HUD programs and activities into
- Consolidating routine paperwork by HUD offices around the
country in more efficient "back office" processing centers.
- Conducting the first comprehensive evaluation involving
physical inspections and financial audits of HUD's housing
- Establishing a new financial information management
- Reducing the size of HUD's staff from the current 10,500
to 7,500 by the end of the year 2000.
- Establishing new performance-based evaluation systems.
White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles said: "I salute
Secretary Cuomo and the employees of the Department of Housing
and Urban Development for innovative steps they are taking to
deliver better services to more Americans at lower costs. The
Department's emphasis on improving customer service, reducing
waste, rewarding performance and leveraging information systems
furthers this Administration's efforts to create smaller, more
Office of Management and Budget Director Franklin Raines
said: "When implemented, these reforms will transform HUD into a
more fiscally responsible and accountable agency that will better
serve the American people. The reforms will play a vital role in
helping the Department achieve its mission."
Cuomo said the reforms will enable HUD to become an
empowerment agency that will strengthen communities to meet
challenges detailed in the State of the Cities report released by
President Clinton this week.
Here are details of the reforms the Department will launch
under HUD 2020:
ENFORCEMENT DIVISION: HUD will restore public trust by
eliminating waste, fraud and abuse by those receiving HUD funds
(public housing authorities, private landlords, local
governments, businesses and individuals) and by HUD itself.
Improper activities will be monitored, documented and prosecuted.
HUD will create an Enforcement Division, which will carry out
this effort. The Department-wide Enforcement Division will be
headed by an FBI agent on detail to HUD. It will replace
independent enforcement functions with different standards and
procedures in HUD's program offices. The division's duties will
include: 1) Taking legal action against housing authorities that
get a failing grade on their annual assessments. 2) Acting
against HUD-assisted housing on the private market that fails
physical and financial audit inspections. 3) Cracking down on the
improper use of grants from the Community Planning Division and
the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. HUD will also
seek Congressional approval for new types of enforcement action.
COMMUNITY BUILDERS AND PUBLIC TRUST OFFICERS: HUD will
empower America's people and local governments to take the
leading role in improving lives and strengthening communities. A
new group of several hundred retrained HUD employees, called
Community Builders, will spearhead this effort. These generalists
will serve as one-stop customer service representatives in HUD's
81 field offices around the nation -- providing assistance and
information on economic development, homeownership, public
housing, homeless assistance, and HUD's other programs. HUD 2020
says this new structure will be more effective in helping people
living in HUD-assisted housing to get jobs and become self-
sufficient, and will help localities develop their own community
development strategies. Another group of several hundred
retrained HUD employees called Public Trust Officers will monitor
recipients of HUD assistance to guard against waste, fraud and
abuse. Public Trust Officers will refer significant problem cases
to the new Enforcement Division.
CONSOLIDATING PROGRAMS: Eliminate duplication by
consolidating over 300 HUD programs and activities into 71
programs and activities, if Congressional approval is obtained.
This will increase efficiency and allow HUD to focus on its most
"BACK OFFICES": Instead of performing routine paperwork at
field offices around the country, HUD will consolidate the work
and perform it in more efficient "back office" processing
centers, following the example of many banks. All of HUD's 81
field offices will remain open and will be better focused on
serving the public.
PROPERTY EVALUATION: HUD will conduct physical
inspections and financial audits of all public housing authority
properties and all privately owned properties receiving HUD
financial assistance or Federal Housing Administration insurance.
Assessments will determine which properties are most troubled.
These properties will receive additional HUD oversight, while
public housing and assisted housing operating without problems
will be given more freedom. Under legislation proposed by HUD,
the Department would be required to designate a housing authority
as troubled if the authority fails to provide acceptable housing
for residents. The legislation provides for mandatory appointment
of a judicial receiver to take control of any large housing
authority that fails to come off the troubled list within one
year. HUD could appoint an administrative receiver for smaller
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: HUD will replace its 89 outdated
computerized financial information management systems -- many of
which are unable to communicate with each other -- with a new
integrated system. HUD's deficient financial management systems
are poorly organized, generally unreliable, and are the main
reason HUD is on the General Accounting Office's "high risk"
list. HUD's new financial management information management
system will be fully implemented by mid 1999 and will include
award-winning mapping software that provides a graphic display of
local HUD funding.
STAFF SIZE: HUD will use attrition and targeted buyouts to
reduce the size of its staff from the current 10,500 to 7,500 by
the end of the year 2000 to carry out a commitment made by former
Secretary Henry Cisneros. HUD had 13,500 employees when Cisneros
began the staff reductions.
PERFORMANCE-BASED SYSTEMS: Establish performance-based
systems to evaluate HUD programs, operations and employees. These
will allow HUD to implement effective performance measures under
the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). HUD will
establish performance as the guideline to determine effectiveness
of its programs.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009