Comments on Productivity Improvement Act of 1980 (S. 2417)

B-198239: Published: Apr 16, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 1980.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO commented on the proposed Productivity Improvement Act of 1980. GAO believes that there is a need for a strong focal point for productivity improvement in the federal government to counter the Nation's declining productivity. It believes that the proposed legislation would provide this focal point. The act would provide for a National Productivity Council that would be a significant improvement over the current productivity council because: (1) it would have the added authority and stability of being a statutory body rather than an organization established by executive order; (2) it would provide a high-level, fulltime chairman who would provide a meaningful focus on national productivity; (3) it would be assigned specific functions and responsibilities for improving productivity; (4) it would be required to develop a National Productivity Plan to outline what the federal government is doing and should be doing to improve productivity; (5) it would be provided adequate staff to help meet its legislative mandate; and (6) a national board would be developed with members representing business, labor, and academia to advise the Council on the appropriate actions for the federal government to take. GAO considers the development of the National Productivity Plan to be the most important aspect of the legislation. The Plan backed by a strong Council is needed to direct the numerous federal efforts to improve productivity.

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