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National and Community Service Programs
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the ability of programs authorized under the national service laws to build and reinforce a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility throughout our Nation, and to institute reforms to improve accountability and efficiency in the administration of those programs, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:
(b) “National and community service programs” means those programs authorized under the national service laws;
(c) “Policies governing programs authorized under the national service laws” refers to all policies, programs, guidelines, and regulations, including official guidance and internal agency procedures and practices, that are issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation) and have significant effects on national and community service programs; and
(d) “Professional corps programs” means those programs described in section 122(a)(8) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12572(a)(8)).
Sec. 2. Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria. In formulating and implementing policies governing programs authorized under the national service laws, the Corporation shall, to the extent permitted by law, adhere to the following fundamental principles:
(a) National and community service programs should support and encourage greater engagement of Americans in volunteering;
(b) National and community service programs should be more responsive to State and local needs;
(c) National and community service programs should make Federal support more accountable and more effective; and
(d) National and community service programs should expand opportunities for involvement of faith-based and other community organizations.
Sec. 3. Agency Implementation. (a) The Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (Chief Executive Officer) shall, in coordination with the USA Freedom Corps Council, review and evaluate existing policies governing national and community service programs in order to assess the consistency of such policies with the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria described in section 2 of this order.
(b) The Chief Executive Officer shall ensure that all policies governing national and community service programs issued by the Corporation are consistent with the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria described in section 2 of this order. To that end, the Chief Executive Officer shall, to the extent permitted by law,(i) amend all such existing policies to ensure that they are consistent with the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria articulated in section 2 of this order; andStart Printed Page 9912 (ii) where appropriate, implement new policies that are consistent with and necessary to further the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria set forth in section 2 of this order.
(c) In developing implementation steps, the Chief Executive Officer should address, at a minimum, the following objectives:(i) National and community service programs should leverage Federal resources to maximize support from the private sector and from State and local governments, with an emphasis on reforms that enhance programmatic flexibility, reduce administrative burdens, and calibrate Federal assistance to the respective needs of recipient organizations; (ii) National and community service programs should leverage Federal resources to enable the recruitment and effective management of a larger number of volunteers than is currently possible; (iii) National and community service programs should increase efforts to expand opportunities for, and strengthen the capacity of, faith-based and other community organizations in building and strengthening an infrastructure to support volunteers that meet community needs; (iv) National and community service programs should adopt performance measures to identify those practices that merit replication and further investment, as well as to ensure accountability; (v) National and community service programs should, consistent with the principles of Federalism and the constitutional role of the States and Indian tribes, promote innovation, flexibility, and results at all levels of government; (vi) National and community service programs based in schools should employ tutors who meet required paraprofessional qualifications, and use such practices and methodologies as are required for supplemental educational services; (vii) National and community service programs should foster a lifetime of citizenship and civic engagement among those who serve; (viii) National and community service programs should avoid or eliminate practices that displace volunteers who are not supported under the national service laws; and (ix) Guidelines for the selection of national and community service programs should recognize the importance of professional corps programs in light of the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria set forth in this order.
Sec. 4. Management Reforms. (a) The Corporation should implement internal management reforms to strengthen its oversight of national and community service programs through enforcement of performance and compliance standards and other management tools.
(b) Management reforms should include, but should not be limited to, the following:(i) Institutionalized changes to the budgetary and grant-making processes to ensure that financial commitments remain within available resources; (ii) Enhanced accounting and management systems that would ensure compliance with fiscal restrictions and provide timely, accurate, and readily available information about enrollment in AmeriCorps and about funding and obligations incurred for all national and community service programs; (iii) Assurance by the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer in the Corporation's Management Representation Letter that its financial statements, including the Statement of Budgetary Resources, are accurate and reliable; and (iv) Management reforms that tie employee performance to fiscal responsibility, attainment of management goals, and professional conduct.
Sec. 5. Report. Within 180 days after the date of this order, the Chief Executive Officer shall report to the President, through the Assistant to Start Printed Page 9913the President and Director of the USA Freedom Corps Office, the actions the Corporation proposes to undertake to accomplish the objectives set forth in this order.
Sec. 6. Judicial Review. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or other entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.B THE WHITE HOUSE, February 27, 2004. Filed 3-2-04; 8:45 am]
[FR Doc. 04-4884
Billing code 3195-01-P