Opening Statements of Committee Members

Prepared Testimony of Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT)

Hearing on Management Challenges Facing
the Department of Housing and Urban Development

9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 23, 1999

I would like to thank Chairman Allard and Senator Kerry for scheduling today's oversight hearing on the status of HUD's Management Reforms.

Although both the Inspector General and the General Accounting Office have raised some concerns about a variety of management issues at HUD, which ought to be and will be addressed in this hearing, it is clear to me that HUD continues to make significant progress since it introduced its 2020 management reform plan in June 1997.

I continue to be struck by the irony that those who have called for reduced government­when presented with a bold effort on part of one agency to shrink itself while at the same time improving its services­choose to be critical instead of supportive.

This Administration has done a remarkable job of reducing the size of the federal government. The government has shrunk by 350,000 employees­making the executive branch the smallest it has been since the Kennedy administration.

This is a remarkable change in the practice of governance. We're doing more with fewer people and at less cost. We're giving more quality per tax dollar than at anytime in recent history.

It is important to keep this larger perspective in mind as we examine some of the particular issues raised by the Inspector General and the General Accounting Office that may warrant further examination like unreliable management systems or an insufficient mix of staff with the proper skills.

Again, I thank you for calling this hearing. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation to continue to support HUD in its twin mission of helping communities rebuild and restoring public trust by protecting the American taxpayer.

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