35th Annual Report Page: 2
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we invite your suggestions, your ideas. Hopefully, out of this process, we
can strengthen the government of this country at all levels."
Writing in Intergovernmental Perspective, the Chairman points out
No other agency is officially charged with the duty of
bringing to the table leaders from our federal, state, and local
governments . . . not . .. just to provide a forum for discussing
public policies and programs . . .[but] as an instrument of
public policy . . . empowered to "recommend, within the
framework of the Constitution, the most desirable allocation of
governmental functions, responsibilities, and revenues among
the several levels of government." That is a considerable grant
of authority ...
ACIR . . . [brings] to the process a broader and more
coordinated view of policies than is possible through
representatives of particular units or levels of government
acting alone. To perform this task properly will require the
building of a credibility and effectiveness based on the
continuing high quality of the Commission's research, a clear
vision of how our federal system ought to perform, and a
willingness to expend the energy and develop the relationships
necessary to advance the policies best calculated to serve the
nation and its constituent communities.
There is a perception among many of our citizens that
too many units of government seem to operate totally
independent of each other with an indifference to the impact of
their policies on others. This is particularly reflected in the
disenchantment that results from the handing down of various
mandates from higher levels of government . . . often
accompanied by requirements for increased spending but
unaccompanied by sources of funding.
There is also the unhappiness brought about by the
insensitive and inflexible cookie-cutter prescriptions which are
applied uniformly to all states and political units and which
preempt and negate the resourcefulness of local leadership.
There is concern about too much concentration of authority at
the highest levels but, at the same time, too much duplication
and too many gatekeepers at the lower levels.
The value of and need for the Commission is widely
recognized. Vice President Al Gore's National Performance
Review (NPR) report specifically recommended that the
Commission be strengthened to assume greater 'responsibility
for continuous improvement in federal, state, and local
partnership and intergovernmental service delivery.'
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United States. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. 35th Annual Report, book, January 1994; Washington, D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1297/m1/3/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.