Government today is inefficient because it's not designed to be efficient

When you look at any high-performing system in our society, it is engineered from the ground up to be that way. A car is engineered to drive, a plane is engineered to fly and a computer is engineered to compute. The unelected, bureaucratic functions of our government, however, are neither engineered nor designed - they are arbitrarily contrived.

The Department of Transportation was created because technology improved rapidly in the 20th century and government needed to manage transportation. The Environmental Protection Agency was created because we needed to start taking better care of the environment. The Department of Homeland security was created because terrorism became a much bigger deal after 9/11.

Across all areas of our society, this has morphed into an immensely complex, overlapping and wasteful system.

For example: today, there are nearly 90 federal agencies operating independently that each enforce criminal law in all 50 states. The U.S. Intelligence Community has 15 parent agencies that oversee hundreds of others that operate independently from one another. The Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service and National Resources Conservation Service all deal with public land and resources the federal level. Hundreds of federal agencies have the authority to pass regulation with the force of law.

But once created, no bureaucratic service wants to give up authority and power as it means they're out of a job. Thus it's in their interest to make their area of authority as complicated as possible because it makes outside reform more difficult. It's also in their interest to raise extra money however possible - whether by fees to access public land, fines, asset seizures, regulatory compliance tests - so they become more of an asset to their superiors higher up the chain.

As you can imagine, this leads to massive external costs that are felt throughout our society. It makes legal and regulatory compliance extremely expensive, it increases the cost of doing nearly any business, it wastes tax dollars by the trillions and reduces government performance to the punchline of a joke.

We propose a different solution.

Instead of scores of separate agencies that perform overlapping roles and responsibilities with little communication (or at cross purposes), we plan to simply consolidate each into dedicated services with defined and unique roles and responsibilities. So instead of several natural resource agencies, for example, we'd have the “Natural Resources Service.” Instead of hundreds of disparate foreign intelligence agencies, we'd have the “Foreign Intelligence Service.” Instead of hundreds of regulatory agencies, we'd have the “National Regulatory Service” (NRS) to serve as a central repository for all regulation nationwide.

In no way does this change the scope of government - government still performs the necessary services it does today, but it does so with dedicated functions that are designed to operate as a team, and in turn increases the efficiency of government. And alongside greater degrees of government accountability that enforces a transparent accounting standards, it allows us to better verify that public money is truly being spent for the national interest. Moreover, we'd have the statistics on spending that we could compare to other agencies or even other countries to see if a service could give more to the American public for their tax dollar.

In another way of looking at it: if government today were a football team, they would be obese strangers running around the field with no direction and without numbers on their backs, with multiple players trying at once to be quarterback, linemen and special teams with no referees in sight.

Our model replaces them with fit, honed professional athletes who are highly skilled at the game. It puts a unique number on their backs and gives them each a specific position on the team – the linebacker is the linebacker, the defensive end is the defensive end and the quarterback is the quarterback, and they work together as a team to win whatever game they play. And in these positions, each player remains beholden to an impartial referee that has the authority to flag play on the field and hold it accountable as necessary.

This approach works in the NFL because professional football is a high-performing system. It works well because it’s engineered to work well. The Alliance Party believes the same should be true of government.

To accomplish this goal, we intend to create a roadmap for the restructuring of government agencies at the federal level into a consolidated model, which is based first on a breakdown of Offices and Services.

Offices and Services

Offices and Services

Our conceptual model covers only the bureaucratic structure of the federal government. With the President of the United States as its head, it operates on a three-tiered hierarchy: Office => Service => Sub-service.

The Office is an overarching parent for a sector of government. The head of each Office is the Office Secretary, a cabinet-level position of which there are a total of eight in this model. Each Office Secretary is appointed by the President, with the exception of the Secretary of Citizen Advocacy (described below), who is elected.

Within each Office are subordinate Services which each provide specific and unique functions. Within each Service, there might be Sub-services to perform certain tasks, but they would each be subordinate to an identifiable parent Service, which in turn is subordinate to an identifiable parent Office – without exception.

This model also adds a few new functions and renames most currently existing functions to “Services” as it forces the recognition that a government function shouldn’t be some stoic bureaucracy, but rather a public service that is just that: a service that exists to work for you if you need it.

Combined, this structure gives government functions a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing and what metrics of performance they will be judged upon. Additionally, it gives us an effective structure we can navigate to assess government performance, holding it accountable as necessary.

The Office of Citizen Services

Office Secretary: Secretary of Citizen Advocacy
Elected every four-year, mid-term cycle

The Office of Citizen Services is the shield of our rights and the location of the mechanisms the Alliance Party would provide to hold government accountable for its actions, and ensure that government works for us and our interests. As the Office Secretary is elected during mid-term election cycles, the election is less politicized. The Office contains the following Services:

Government Accountability Agency: A newly proposed internal affairs agency that investigates unlawful government action and holds it legally accountable. This agency is chaired by the Secretary of Citizen Advocacy, who is elected in four-year, mid-term cycles. More information on the Government Accountability Agency can be found here.

Citizen Advocacy Service: Assists citizens in petitioning the government for a redress of legitimate grievances in court, acting effectively as a public sector American Civil Liberties Union. This Service works alongside the Government Accountability Agency, maintains public defenders in criminal cases and provides general clarification on matters of law to citizens. It may legally represent citizens against government when their rights were violated, and to avoid fraudulent malpractice claims against the National Health Service, it is the only entity with the legal authority to file suit against it. More information on the Citizen Advocacy Service's mission can be found here.

Consumer Protection Service: Provides information to the public regarding product safety and performance, recommends recalls if a situation warrants. Protects consumers from predatory business practices and acts as a voice for consumers in the face of them.

National Health Service: The consolidation of all federal public health agencies into a single-payer healthcare framework. Please click here for more details on our approach to healthcare.

Special Assistance Service: The consolidation of all federal welfare and assistance in the federal government (unemployment is structured as a function of the Labor and Employment Service in this model). The Special Assistance Service additionally provides financial/humanitarian relief in the event of disasters, absorbing FEMA’s role today. The consolidation of all special assistance streamlines how we issue money, making it easier to investigate fraud or abuse. Non-emergency expenditures and subsidies are coordinated through the Grants, Subsidies and Loan Service, described briefly below.

Public Interest Company: The hybrid business entity that manages the implementation of the Universal Energy framework nationwide. Facilitates the sale of its technologies abroad through the Office of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Commerce Service. For more information on the Public Interest Company and Universal Energy, please click here.

The Office of Domestic Services

Office Secretary: Secretary of Domestic Services
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Domestic Services is the parent entity for most domestic government functions. Its purpose includes oversight of national land and resources, farming, civil infrastructure, etc. It contains the following Services:

Postal Service: The Postal Service as it exists in its current form today.

Public Land Service: The consolidation of all federal parks, forest and land management services into a single entity.

Farming and Agriculture Service: The consolidation of all federal farming, agricultural and food service programs into a single entity. Would handle farm subsidies and development of Indoor Growth Systems and vertical farms.

Federal Housing Service: The consolidation of all federal housing and urban development programs into a single entity.

Federal Communications Service: The FCC and all federal communications agencies (outside of security) consolidated into a single entity.

Weather, Energy and Resources Service: The consolidation of all climate-related, energy and natural resource agencies within the federal government. Clandestine functions of the current Department of Energy are moved to the Office of Security in this model.

Environmental Protection Service: The EPA and all environmental protection functions of government consolidated into a single entity.

Infrastructure and Transportation Service: The consolidation of all transportation (including air travel) and infrastructure/highway agencies into a single entity.

Federal Election Service: Administers elections nationwide. Manages the Official Election Exam, registers political parties, makes public the financial records of campaigns. Absorbs the functions of the Federal Election Commission.

Native American and Indigenous Persons Service: The United States has treaties with sovereign Indian nations requiring special arrangements that exist outside of standard laws. This Service manages these arrangements, and takes over Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Office of Security

Office Secretary: Secretary of Defense
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Security is responsible for all security-related matters within Government. This Office contains the following Services:

Federal Security Service: Responsible for monitoring and tracking threats to domestic security, including espionage. Absorbs the NSA’s signals intelligence programs and the Department of Homeland Security. Primarily tasked with domestic anti-terrorism investigations, works in tandem with the Foreign Intelligence Service and alongside the FBI. This Service absorbs the Secret Service’s personnel and infrastructure protection responsibilities. More information can be found here.

Department of Defense: Coordinates defensive operations in the event the United States is attacked by a military power on a large scale. Commands the National Minutemen Service. More information can be found here.

Civilian Defense Service: Responsible for coordinating national defense in time of foreign invasion. More information can be found here.

Department of War: Responsible for maintaining foreign military presences and conducting warfare operations as needed to protect our interests and our allies. Maintains structure and command of our military forces. More information can be found here.

The Office of Law and Justice

Office Secretary: Attorney General
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Law and Justice is today’s Department of Justice that is consolidated and equipped with a few extra functions. It acts as the civil and criminal enforcement arm of government agency. The Office Secretary is the Attorney General, the nation’s top law-enforcement official. This Office contains the following services:

Federal Bureau of Investigation: The FBI as it exists today, consolidating all other federal law enforcement organizations into a single entity with the exception of the Government Accountability Agency, Federal Security Service and the Immigration and Customs Service. More information can be found here.

Corporate Affairs Service: The Corporate Affairs Service maintains our proposed Corporate Classification system to rate companies by social impact and reward them accordingly. It also contains mechanisms to hold corporations and their leaders accountable for their actions. More information can be found here.

Department of Justice: The Department of Justice as it exists today, headed by the Attorney General and maintaining a staff of U.S. Attorneys for both criminal and civil litigation. The Department of Justice would be responsible for prosecuting all criminal cases at the federal level and initiating civil action on the behalf of government Services where regulation needs to be enforced in a courtroom.

Federal Court Systems: The federal courts as they exist today.

Federal Corrections Service: The Bureau of Prisons as it exists today, held more accountable for its actions under laws that we propose which would ban use of private prisons. More information can be found here.

The Office of Foreign Affairs

Office Secretary: Secretary of State
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Foreign Affairs represents the United States and its interests abroad, consolidating all foreign-facing functions into a single Office. It has five Services:

State Department: The State Department as it exists today, representing diplomatic missions and outreach efforts abroad. Coordinates intelligence gathering with the Foreign Intelligence Service.

Immigration and Customs Service: Handles immigration, customs, border patrol and visa/citizenship processing of foreigners who wish to visit or live in the United States.

Foreign Aid Service: Responsible for administering aid to foreign countries as is deemed necessary by the State Department.

Foreign Commerce Service: Works to attract foreign investment in the United States. Facilitates the sale of Universal Energy abroad through the Public Interest Company.

Foreign Intelligence Service: The consolidation of all intelligence agencies (CIA, DIA, NRO, etc.) into a singular entity responsible for keeping tabs on the world outside of American borders, both in a public and clandestine capacity. The NSA’s cryptographic functions are absorbed by the Federal Security Service in this model.

The Office of Regulation

Office Secretary: Secretary of Regulation
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Regulation has one lone service: the National Regulatory Service, and it is tasked with regulating our society as allowed by Congress. Most notably in this model, it is the only entity with authority to pass regulations within the federal level of government.

Here’s how this works: The National Regulatory Service solicits input from each Service of government for the regulations they want to enact. The National Regulatory Service reviews these proposed regulations, and if approved, grants them the force of law.

Once approved, each Service would apply these regulations, and if necessary, enforce them as allowed by law – which if warranting of criminal or civil litigation, would be handled by the Department of Justice exclusively. Should these regulations be challenged or deemed to be outdated over time, the Service that proposed these regulations would have to defend their validity and could ultimately be overruled by the National Regulatory Service at any time.

By making the National Regulatory Service the lone source of regulation at the federal level, it standardizes our regulatory framework. It provides a singular source where regulations of any kind can be found definitively, especially since they would be published in a publicly searchable online database – substantially reducing compliance costs. This also prevents conflicts of interest as it doesn’t allow public Services to write their own regulations to suit their own agendas (see: the DEA and marijuana).

Moreover, as all regulation would be centralized, it would be easier to identify and change overly complex or poorly written regulation or protest it if it’s unnecessarily burdensome. To this end, the National Regulatory Service would hold public hearings on the effects of regulation and would have the ability to modify regulations at any time – unless overruled by Congress or the President. More information can be found below.

The Office of Financial Affairs

Office Secretary: Secretary of the Treasury
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Financial Affairs is the Department of the Treasury as it exists today, handling all financial matters of the government, including income, expenditures, accounting, grants and loans. It contains the following Services:

Domestic Finance Service: Prints money, coordinates tax, currency and budget policy with Congress, maintains the U.S. Mint, sets accounting standards within government, funds various government agencies and keeps track of all internal financial matters of the government, including income and expenditures. Maintains uniform accounting standards within Services.

Social Security Service: The Social Security Administration as it exists today.

Patents, Trademarks and Copyright Service: The consolidation of all intellectual property services of the federal government into a streamlined entity.

Economy and Commerce Service: The consolidation of all commerce-related functions of the Federal Government.

Financial Security Service: Investigates financial markets, predatory lending, fraudulent financial schemes, funding of unlawful entities (terrorist organizations, gangs, etc.). Absorbs the current SEC. This Service is investigative only and works with the FBI or Federal Security Service to make arrests and/or gather information through search warrants.

Internal Revenue Service: The IRS as it exists today. Collects tax revenue from individuals, businesses and organizations. Determines appropriateness of tax determinations (non-profit, types of corporations, etc.). Enforces a tax code written by Congress which is overhauled in this model and explained in our budget proposal.

Labor and Employment Service: The Department of Labor as it exists today, consolidated with all other employment and unemployment-related agencies of the Federal Government. Any union/pension programs of the current Department of Labor are moved to the Labor and Employment Service in this model.

Federal Reserve Bank: The Federal Reserve Bank as it exists today. However, in this model the Federal Reserve is wholly subordinate to the Office of the Treasury and the Government Accountability Agency’s auditing capabilities, as well as the auditing capabilities of Congress.

Grants, Subsidies and Loan Service: The single point for where all subsidies are coordinated by the federal government. In this model, Services request money for subsidies outside of their budgets, which are coordinated and approved by this Service. During disasters and exigent circumstances, funds come from the Special Assistance Service. More details on this function are described below.

The Office of Education and Advancement

Office Secretary: Secretary of Advancement
Appointed by the President of the United States

The Office of Education and Advancement is the parent government entity for educational and social advancement programs, including space exploration, research and development and the promotion of arts and culture. This Office is comprised of four Services:

National Education Service: The consolidation of all federal education services. Provides an education policy framework nationwide that’s held to high standards. Subsidizes teacher salaries so they can be compensated more competitively, suggests and implements novel and more effective educational approaches.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA as it exists today, with upgraded funding and budgets. Works in close proximity to the Research and Development Service.

Research and Development Service: Consolidates all civilian research and technology development. Much of the high-end research and development in the public sector is coordinated by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), most results of which remain secret. This Service would publish its research in the public domain, and help subsidize research programs deemed of national interest.

Arts, Culture and Recognition Service: Promotes focus on humanities and arts. Its function is to exalt new works, classify worthy entries as national treasures, as well as promote individuals making breakthroughs or advancements in cultural areas of society. This service would maintain The Liberty Prize, which would be issued annually to outstanding American citizens. More information can be found here.

Information and Statistics Service: Consolidates all data-reporting agencies into one entity, tasked with reporting on statistics, data and spending breakdowns of all areas of society (labor, transportation, educational, healthcare, etc.). Maintains federal libraries and virtualizes all books within the Library of Congress.

Model Mindset

Model Mindset

As a conceptual model, this structure does not cover every last function of government, but it covers the majority of its functions and gives a general idea as to our mindset. It maintains the same degree of services government does presently and includes a few necessary additions, while consolidating disparate services into streamlined entities with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

This works to reduce redundancy and helps prevent skirmishes between agencies that compete for budget dollars and jurisdiction. Lastly, it makes it far easier to identify waste and misconduct and hold it appropriately accountable. The operating structure that makes these results possible is based on five approaches, which we’ll review briefly once again for clarity:

Offices are the parent entity for an overarching sector of government, of which there are eight in this model: citizen services, domestic affairs, foreign affairs, financial affairs, law and justice, security and defense, education and technology – and the regulation of all of the above.

Each Office contains a series of Services unique to a specific sector of government, all of which are subordinate to the Office Secretary – which is a cabinet level position and reports to the President. In function, this structure is no different than a company with different services that report to a department head, who themselves each report to the company CEO.

Services are the actionable entities of government in this model. They perform services for the public benefit as provided by their mandate. Notably, within the powers granted to them, Services would have the ability to investigate as allowed by law. However, the ability to enforce law or regulation beyond small fines would only be held by the Department of Justice, and through it, the FBI and Federal Security Service.

This function is extremely important because it works to ensure that any enforcement of law or regulation (whether criminal or civil) at the federal level is transparent, warranted and effective.

Rather than having individual agencies flex their muscles within their own little fiefdoms at the behest of a political agenda, only the Department of Justice and the FBI, Federal Security Service, Immigration and Customs Service and the Government Accountability Agency are granted the power of enforcement. This means that these entities must feel federal enforcement is necessary in the first place before they act, so you don’t have, for example, the FDA hounding a startup vegetarian mayonnaise producer at the behest of the egg lobby. If laws are violated, enforcement is warranted – but only if they were truly violated.

Yet on the other hand, if enforcement is truly warranted, it’s not some podunk, under-funded agency knocking on some corporate door that a well-funded legal team could smack around in a courtroom. It’s the Department of Justice, flanked by federal agents with guns and handcuffs. This works to provide effectiveness of enforcement, which if made transparent by design, also allows the public (and media) to gauge the appropriateness of that action and voice their opinions accordingly.

In this line of reasoning, Services do not pass their own regulations – they propose regulations to the NRS within the Office of Regulation, which approves them and accepts their legal status. Additionally, all grants, subsidies and external expenditures made by Services are coordinated through the Grants, Subsidies and Loan Service and emergency funds are issued by the Special Assistance Service. These restrictions work to prevent an inherent conflict of interest from Services benefiting from their own regulations and subsidies, a practice that is sadly rampant today.

Federal Law enforcement comes from only four sources in this model. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which handles most criminal investigations at the federal level, the Federal Security Service, which is dedicated to fighting terrorism and cybercrime, the Immigration and Customs Service, which only has authority at U.S. border crossings, and the Government Accountability Agency, which is dedicated to internal affairs within all levels of government.

Regulation comes from a single source in this model – the NRS, within the Office of Regulation. Services propose regulations to the NRS which enacts them and maintains their standing, and if public input warrants, holds hearings on their varied effects. It’s notable that in this model, the NRS’s function is not to micro-manage or obstruct regulation passed by Services, but rather act as a function of review. It works to ensure that regulations are clearly written, not overly broad in scope and not in violation of the law or public interest as a whole.

In this function, any regulations proposed by Services would be accepted at face value in most cases, just held to a standard that enforces transparency within a standardized structure for greater clarity.

Additionally, this structure provides agility in an ever-changing economy, as regulations often become outdated and are difficult to change with the nature of our bureaucratic framework today. This model allows for regulations to adapt to changing circumstances much faster, working to ensure they mold to fit society’s needs as society improves and advances.

These regulatory improvements are beneficial, but they become all the more so once they are consolidated, as there becomes no doubt as to the location of what regulations might apply for a given sector of society.

With government today, regulatory compliance requires attorneys to perform extensive research into myriad regulations from myriad sources that apply to myriad behaviors with myriad conditions. Nationwide, this collectively adds up to billions of dollars in compliance costs which you can bet is passed on to consumers. The Alliance Party believes that regulations shouldn’t be written to make lawyers money. Instead, they should be clear and easy for anyone to access.

Therefore, if someone wanted to determine what regulations applied in a given instance, in this model, they could simply query the NRS’s online database. For more complicated compliance, it allows attorneys to research what regulations apply through a singular, standardized source.

As the singular source of regulations would be online and thus public, it helps encourage public input on the effect of regulation. If input indicated that certain regulations were harmful, the NRS could hold hearings to investigate further. If the NRS deemed it necessary, they would have the authority to modify or invalidate a regulation or send components of it back to the Service that proposed it for changes, actions the NRS could also take upon directive from Congress or the President.

This, all combined, works to hold regulation more accountable to the people, making our society more efficient, just and transparent.

Money is distributed through four sources in this model, depending on the purpose. The funding of Services to their approved budgets comes from the Domestic Finance Service and all money is issued under a uniform and publicly transparent accounting standard that is universally required among Services.

Cost overruns for public agencies go through the Domestic Finance Service as well and are approved as necessary; however, these can trigger audits from the Government Accountability Agency at any time.

The issuance of direct subsidies as requested by Services in furtherance of their mandate all go through the Grants, Subsidies and Loan Service, which ultimately issues all funds. This ensures that the public has a singular source to look for all subsidies issued by the federal government (and their supporters in Congress), allowing this information to influence their voting choices accordingly.

Emergency funds are issued by the Special Assistance Service and go to help people affected by unforeseen events and natural disasters.

The functions of the Federal Reserve stay as is, but are fully auditable by the Government Accountability Agency and Congress.

This model succeeds because it focuses on simplicity and efficacy of structure and works to deliver superior operation through that structure. It doesn’t change what government does, it just changes how it does it.

This “shrinks” the government in terms of raw size, making it less expensive – but also more efficient and effective. At the same time, it doesn’t take “big government” and turn it into “small government” either, as the mandate and scale of government services remain as they are presently. Rather, government is just structured to perform better and give us a higher value for our tax dollar.

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