Cutting Contractors

OMB released a report today, “Acquisition and Contracting Improvement Plans and Pilots: Saving Money and Improving Government,” which follows up on its July 2009 directive that agencies trim 7 percent – about $40 billion -- from their contracting budgets over the next two years by improving their buying processes.

Performance Reporting: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Recent years have seen a growing emphasis on the reporting of the outputs and outcomes of government programs. Yet there is limited information on what outputs and outcomes are actually reported on in practice.

Implementing the Open Gov Directive

President Obama’s Open Government Directive was released a week ago with lots of anticipation and a series of deadlines. Now agencies are moving quickly to develop their plans. A series of interesting resources are already popping up to help them:

Data-Driven Performance: The Hearing

Senator Mark Warner chaired another hearing of his Taskforce on Government Performance, on “Data-Driven Performance: Using Technology to Deliver Results.”

The Obama Administration’s chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, testified. Here are some interesting excerpts from his statement:

Conversations with Leaders: Admiral Thad Allen

With more than 218 years of service to the nation, the U.S. Coast Guard is a military, multimission maritime organization that safeguards U.S. economic and security interests. We had the pleasure of speaking with Admiral Allen about the Coast Guard modernization, its many successes, and the use of social networking and Web 2.0 technologies. Here's an excerpt.
 

FY 2009 Financial and Performance Reports

If a tree falls in a forest, did it make a sound?

The November 15th release of federal department and agency annual performance and accountability reports went largely un-noticed. Not a mention in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or Washington Post (even its Federal Page).

Open Government: Implementation Guidance

The White House released its long-awaited implementation guidance for President Obama’s Open Government initiative, along with links to ongoing agency initiatives and a “Progress Report to the American People.” The guidance lays out actions and timetables.

The Business of Government Magazine - The NEW Fall/Winter 2009 Edition

 

The Center is pleased to announce the publication of its Fall/Winter 2009 issue of The Business of Government magazine. This issue focuses on a range of public management issues facing us today. Whether it’s the federal government’s response to the recent financial crisis, the H1N1 flu, or its movement towards greater transparency and accountability, we’ve gathered thoughtful perspectives from some of the leading practitioners and academics in the field.

Citizen Participation: Others Step Out

The rumors continue about the impending release of the Obama Administration’s implementation directives for greater transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration. But thanks to the power of Twitter, I’ve learned that both the United Kingdom and Australia have released reports that begin to detail their approaches to greater citizen participation. These reports may serve as useful reference points when the Obama directive is released!

Recovery Act: Shifting Mindsets

The fuss surrounding the release of the first full report on the use of Recovery Act money last week reminded me of an experience I had in 1980 while working for a congressional oversight committee. We had received an annual report with program data for FY 1977 that I thought was quite useful. I then asked the agency for the FY 1978 and 1979 reports since I thought they would be useful as well. The response was “we just released the 1977 report, the others won’t be available for another two years.”

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