News

[EXCERPTS] U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY BRIEFING

BRIEFER: NICHOLAS BURNS MONDAY, APRIL 28, 1997

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Q: Is there a list of former -- I want to say State Department
officials, but a lot of them are former ACDA officials perturbed about
this reorganization. In the interest of full disclosure, is there
anybody within the building who doesn't think it's a great idea to
kill the Arms Control Agency?

Q:  John Holum

Q: No, no. John Holum gets a job. I mean the people who don't get a
new job. Is there anybody in the building who thinks it's not great
idea?

BURNS:  You know, Barry -- 

Q: Because if I go into the Town Hall, I would ask that, but I can't
--

BURNS:  You would?  But you're not to get a chance to.

Q:  Right.

BURNS: Darn it. In my unscientific sampling of people here, just
people I know in the building, there are people who support
reorganization and there are people who oppose it for a variety of
reasons. You would expect that. Some of these agencies have been in
existence for most of the Cold War, almost the entire Second World War
period, some of them, and you expect that to happen. But the President
and the Secretary are convinced this is the right thing to do.

It makes us more efficient. It allows us to streamline our operations
which is what most Americans want us to do here in Washington, not to
retain a bloated bureaucracy when we can make it streamlined and,
hopefully, down the road save some money; but more importantly, make
sure we have a more effective foreign policy. I, for one, personally
support it. I think it is a good idea.

Q: You've got about 250 people in the Agency and the understanding is
a lot of them will be retained, so how many jobs are you saving by
doing this?

BURNS: I think when the White House announced this ten days ago,
whenever it was --

Q:  It's one of the smallest agencies in the U.S. Government?

BURNS: Well, the White House announced the reorganization of three
agencies in the State Department. The White House said they did not
expect major job losses, to begin with. What we are heading into right
now, Barry, is a transitional period of a couple of years where Pat
Kennedy has charge to try to implement this plan. The Congress will
have a say. So, it is very hard to predict the final outcome, but we
know it is going to happen.

There will be the integration of these two agencies, ACDA and USIA
into the State Department and some elements of AID. The press and
public affairs elements, for instance, will be integrated, legislative
affairs and the AID director under the direct authority of the
Secretary of State. I think it expands the power of the Secretary of
State; it makes the whole process less cumbersome and more efficient.