Rip Van Winkel Awakens: Does He Look Like Nicholas Cage?

We were here for the reawakening of the Administrative Conference of the U.S. and it felt like a scene out of “National Treasure.”  In fact, I keep looking around for Nicholas Cage.  Here I was, at a reception in the Great Hall of the National Archives, able to look at the originals of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights without standing in a line and having to continually shuffle forward under the mutterings of “please keep moving” by impatient guards.

Re-Thinking the CFO Act

I originally had my doubts about the statutory provision in the stimulus bill that created something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.  I was concerned that it was going to be a huge “gotcha” machine.  But it looks like its chairman, Earl Devaney, has created the foundation for modernizing the CFO Act of 1990 in the way he created a website tracking Recovery Act spending, Recovery.gov.

Improving Customer Service

In the 1990s, the Clinton-Gore Reinventing Government effort thought the answer was “yes.”  President Clinton issued a customer service executive order in 1993 followed up in 1995 with a memo to institutionalize the initiative.

Is Open Gov 1950 Stymieing Open Gov 2010?

The Federal Records Act of 1950 creates a framework to manage agency records.  It puts the National Archives and Records Administration in charge of oversight of the system and NARA determines the historical value of federal records and operates Federal Records Centers around the country.

Finally, a Name!

The six initiatives were announced back in July with little fanfare, but today’s memo provides high level visibility and press that “review our approach to performance management, detail our strategies and key initiatives, and describe the early progress we have achieved.” 

Rethinking Financial Reporting

The experience of implementing the Recovery Act’s financial reporting website sent a message to the financial management community in Washington.  OMB controller Danny Werfel tells the story of how the web version of the 2009 financial statement of one large agency (that has more than 400 financial management staff) only had 400 visits.  This contrast

Blockchain for Government

Simply put, Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger that can be likened to bookkeeping, where transactions are recorded as “blocks” and any modifications or related transactions are also recorded and linked creating a connected “chain”. This provides a unique opportunity to address pressing issues government organizations face, such as transparency, fraud detection, and efficient and improved services.

Transparency

Gov 2.0 Requires Us to Update Our Code

Last week, I talked Gov 2.0 with two Senior Research Fellows at the Mercatus Center, Jerry Brito and Veronique de Rugy.  As advocates of transparency, we were all in agreement that the trend lines over the past two years are good, but that current offerings are woefully short of the mark—and much less than was promised during the last Presidential campaign.  One point of disagreement, though, was my argument that Gov 2.0 encompasses regulation as well as policy and practice.

Scorecarding Agency Open Gov Plans

The Obama Administration announced today a scorecard of the quality of the plans submitted earlier this month by 29 major agencies. Using a checklist of 30 criteria, the scorecards show all agencies rating either a “yellow” or a “green” on their scorecards. These plans are being referred to as “version 1.0.”

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