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Memorandum on the Ounce of Prevention Council

September 13, 1994

Memorandum for the Vice President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Drug Control Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy

Subject: The Ounce of Prevention Council

The Federal Government must administer its programs and deliver services to the American people in the most efficient, effective, and economical ways possible. To that end, this Administration is committed to streamlining, coordinating, and integrating the related responsibilities, programs, and functions of our various executive branch departments and agencies and to designing solutions to traditionally local problems in a manner that provides greater flexibility to those who implement these solutions—our State and local governments.

It gives me great pleasure to sign into law today the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 ("Act"), which attacks this country's crime and violence problems through a comprehensive, responsible, and bottom-up approach. This Act establishes, among other things, new programs designed to address some of the root causes of criminal and violent behavior. All of these prevention programs are being fully funded through the reduction of the Federal bureaucracy—which was accomplished under the Vice President's National Performance Review. (Specifically, these reductions were effectuated by Executive Order No. 12839 of February 10, 1993, my memorandum of September 11, 1993, and the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act, approved March 30, 1994, which together directed executive branch departments and agencies to reduce the Federal workforce by 272,900 positions.)

The Act also empowers States and localities by providing these governmental entities with maximum flexibility in administering the Act's prevention programs. But, unlike similar programs established in the past and in the true meaning of "reinventing government," this law sets strict guidelines that ensure that these programs are administered in a manner that is consistent with the Act and fulfills the goals of the programs. Finally, the Act creates the Ounce of Prevention Council (the "Prevention Council" or "Council") to, among other things, oversee and coordinate the various crime prevention programs governed by the Act.

In order to continue our efforts to streamline, coordinate, and integrate the work and activities of the Federal Government, I hereby order the following:

(i) The Vice President, who leads the National Performance Review and chairs the President's Community Enterprise Board (the "Board"); the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, who is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Crime Bill; and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall be members of the Prevention Council;

(ii) The Vice President shall serve as the Chair of the Council and shall appoint a staff to support the work of the Council, and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy shall serve as the Council's Vice Chair;

(iii) The Vice President, to the extent appropriate and permitted by law, shall coordinate and integrate the work of the Prevention Council with the work of the President's Community Enterprise Board, which is responsible for coordinating across agencies various Federal programs available to distressed communities;

(iv) The Prevention Council shall report to the Board on its activities, which shall include assisting communities in developing bottom-up crime prevention strategies that are sufficiently tailored and flexible to meet the security needs of the communities and evaluating the effectiveness of the programs governed by the Act;

(v) To the extent permitted by law, Prevention Council members shall cooperate with the Vice President in coordinating all of the Administration's crime prevention programs and in integrating the work of the Council and the Board; and

(vi) Each executive branch department and agency represented on the Council shall dedicate the personnel and administrative support necessary for the Council to fulfill its missions and responsibilities.

With this structure, I am confident that we will be able to provide communities in distress with a single Federal forum dedicated to helping them address their economic and security needs.


NOTE: H.R. 3355, approved September 13, was assigned Public Law No. 103-322.

William J. Clinton, Memorandum on the Ounce of Prevention Council Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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