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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-121
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeJuly 15, 1999


WASHINGTON - "HUD has made major progress in the past year" in improving its management performance and planning to achieve its strategic objectives, according to a report issued today by the independent National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

"Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo, the department leadership team, and staff deserve commendation for this substantial progress," the NAPA report says. "This report tells the story of how HUD has moved from criticism to commendation" as a result of reforms initiated by Cuomo.

NAPA is recognized for its expertise in management of public organizations. It employs former top-level federal government executives to evaluate the performance of federal agencies.

"This independent outside study validates the hard work of HUD employees around the nation who've turned our plans for management reform into reality," Cuomo said. "It shows we're not just talking about management reform - we're getting the job done, and creating a more efficient and effective HUD."

Three Congressmen who reviewed the NAPA report said it was clear evidence of major management improvements at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Congressman James Leach of Iowa - Chairman of the House Committee on Housing, Banking and Financial Services - said: "Just five years ago, NAPA raised the possibility of dismantling HUD if accountability within the Department could not be improved. Today's report recognizes significant progress with HUD and lays out a framework for continued improvement. There should be no doubt: HUD's existence is no longer in jeopardy. The federal role in bolstering housing and community development activities is critical for expanding civil society in America today."

Congressman John LaFalce of New York, Ranking Member of the Committee that Leach chairs, said: "The National Academy of Public Administration has concluded that HUD is making substantial progress in implementing reforms. That is good news to first-time homebuyers, community development corporations, and the millions of low-income tenants that rely on opportunities created by HUD."

Congressman James Walsh of New York, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies, said: "I am pleased that HUD continues to receive high marks as indicated in the latest NAPA report relating to their plans to achieve high performance goals. Recommendations for additional solutions are still being discussed, but under Secretary Cuomo's leadership HUD's willingness to move forward on this issue deserves special recognition."

The NAPA report measures HUD's compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), which holds federal agencies accountable to deliver what the report calls "results that make a difference in the lives of the people and businesses served by federal programs."

"The (NAPA) panel believes that the Secretary's commitment to make GPRA implementation part of his personal agenda and use the resulting strategic and annual plans as primary tools for managing the department, and follow-up actions by the Deputy Secretary and other top leaders in the department, represent substantial steps toward fuller use of GPRA's tools," according to the report.

The report points out that Congressmen Leach and LaFalce sent HUD a letter commending the Department for "significant improvements in its FY 2000 annual performance plan."

The NAPA report cites these specific improvements in HUD's Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2000:

  • HUD has created a strategic roadmap defining the Department's mission, and setting goals and objectives to fulfill that mission. The roadmap says HUD's mission is to "promote adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and a suitable living environment free from discrimination." HUD defines its strategic goals as: 1) Increasing the availability of decent safe and affordable housing. 2) Ensuring equal opportunity in housing. 3) Promoting family self-sufficiency and the accumulation of assets by families and individuals. 4) Improving the qualify of life and economic vitality in communities. 5) Restoring public trust in HUD.

  • HUD has set out concrete steps the Department must take to achieve measurable objectives and to track its progress.

  • HUD has devised a comprehensive plan that covers all actions needed to carry out its mission.

HUD's 2020 Management Reform Plan was issued by Cuomo in June 1997. The plan stated that it was designed 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."

The NAPA report calls on HUD to build on all the progress it has made to make still further management improvements.

The report issued today follows a NAPA report issued in April on HUD's procurement reforms. The April report said HUD has taken a series of actions to improve its contracting operations resulting in "substantial progress toward the goal of developing and implementing a model procurement system."

The two NAPA reports are the latest in a series of reviews by outside observers verifying HUD's progress in reforming its management and operations. These observers include government reinvention expert and management consultant David Osborne, management consultant Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (see attachment).

Key management reforms implemented at HUD under Cuomo's leadership include:

  • Creation of an Enforcement Center in 1998 headed by an FBI agent and assisted by U.S. Attorneys' offices to establish and implement the highest standards of integrity in HUD programs. The Center continues the crackdown begun by Cuomo on landlords who collect money improperly from the Department.

  • The first nationwide inspection program of all affordable housing subsidized or insured by HUD, begun in October 1998. The inspections will be completed by the end of this year, and there will be regular follow-up inspections in future years. The inspections are designed to create better living conditions for residents of public housing, of privately owned housing subsidized under the Section 8 Program, and of housing insured by HUD.

  • The bringing of new technology to HUD, including: touch-screen computers set up in information kiosks easily accessible to the public; hand-held computers used for inspecting public and assisted housing where 6 million low- and moderate-income people live; an updated web site on the Internet that allows people to file housing discrimination complaints electronically; and innovative Community 2020 software that contains detailed information about communities to help local officials better plan for the future. New technology has also resulted in speedier approval of FHA mortgage insurance that has cut approval time from a range of four to six weeks to a new range of two to four days.


  • Management Expert David Osborne, author of Reinventing Government, wrote in 1998 that management reform at HUD "as it is being implemented today represents one of the most ambitious, fundamental and exciting reinvention plans in the recent history of the federal government."

  • A review by management consultants Booz-Allen & Hamilton concluded in March 1998 that HUD has made "significant progress towards achieving the many management reforms that are critical to making the Department function effectively."

  • Another outside review of HUD's reinvention performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP concluded in December 1998 that HUD's management reform plan is successfully moving forward on schedule. The review said that "implementation of the Community Builders, Enforcement Center, Procurement Reform, Real Estate Assessment Center, Storefronts, and Troubled Agency Recovery Center is well under way. Each project met all or substantially all of the critical milestones that HUD established for completion as of September 1."

  • A survey found in December 1998 that 70 percent of HUD employees believed the Department has made reinvention an important priority - the highest percentage of any of 22 federal agencies surveyed. The employee survey was performed by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, which is headed by Vice President Al Gore. The Vice President said: "Through REGO (the reinventing government initiative) - and thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Secretary Andrew Cuomo - we turned HUD around."

  • A report in early 1999 by the General Accounting Office of Congress said: "HUD continues to make credible progress in overhauling its operations to correct its management deficiencies" and called Cuomo's management reform plan "a major contributor to this progress."

  • The HUD Office of Inspector General issued the first clean audit of HUD's financial statements in the Department's history in March this year. This means that for the first time, the Department's financial statements are in complete compliance with all applicable federal requirements. While the audit also summarized many of the past criticisms that the Office of Inspector General has made of the Department, the Inspector General wrote that the audit "represents a considerable achievement for HUD, and it further reflects continuing improvements in HUD's commitment and ability to properly account for the funds entrusted to the Department."

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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