Reinventing Saudi Arabia

David Osborne, of Reinventing Government fame, keynoted today's session at the Saudi conference on public administration. He said there are two sets of reforms running in parallel across the globe today. The first focuses on getting the basics right: a professional public service, rule of law, prosecuting corruption, a transparent budget and contracting system, etc.

On-Line Town Halls

This past summer the spectacle of unruly congressional town hall meetings on health care reform played across the media.

Risky Business

Recovery Act guidance from OMB requires agencies to identify the risk associated with each program and develop a plan of action to reduce such risks. After all, if a program gets 3,100 % increase in funding, like the home weatherization program did, there must be some risk involved!

Priorities and Principles for Performance

Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients debuted before an audience of federal managers yesterday at the Excellence in Government Conference 2009, recapping what he has seen and learned during his “listening tour” of the government in his first 100 days in office.

Citizen Engagement: GSA Update

While there’s been little open discussion in recent days about the progress of President Obama’s Open Government Directive, the General Services Administration’s quarterly “Intergovernmental Solutions” newsletter has dedicated its latest issue to describing dozens of examples of how citizen engagement is increasing in government – federal, state, local, as well as other countries. It is worth reading!

New Transparency: Recovery.Gov

There were lots of complaints that the initial Recovery.Gov website was not very helpful. That’s changed. The newly-refreshed website now has lots of new ways of finding and looking at information that is due to pour in next month when the first quarterly reports are due from about 90,000 sources.

Government Executive’s NextGov reporter, Aliya Sternstein provides a good review:

Engaging Citizens in Oversight

There’s a great lead article by Elise Castelli in this week’s Federal Times, “Feds to Empower ‘Citizen IGs’ to Watch Stimulus Spending.” This is a real experiment in the ultimate use of crowdsourcing – providing the data on spending via recovery.gov and letting on-the-ground citizens to help interpret and make sense of it in their communities.

From Data to Decisions III

Today’s senior managers are tempted to begin analytics programs before determining the mission-essential questions they are seeking data to answer.  Older data-based analytics efforts often grew out of the discoveries of line employees who made connections and saw patterns in data after receiving new software or hardware that helped them make sense of what they were studying.

Recovery Act Transparency: Learning from States' Experiences

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included unprecedented provisions to disclose how more than $275 billion in grants, contracts, and loans were spent under the Act.  These requirements fell not only on federal agencies but also the recipients and sub-recipients of these monies.  In many cases, state governments were the focal point for collecting and reporting this information.  How did states respond?  Did this increased transparency change how states managed their own monies as well as federal dollars?  Are there lessons for future transparency efforts at the state or fed

A Manager’s Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation

The Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative is now three years old. But is it making a difference?  Dr. Nabatchi’s report is a practical guide for program managers who want to assess whether their efforts to increase citizen participation in their programs are making a difference. She lays out evaluation steps for both the implementation and management of citizen participation initiatives, as well as how to assess the impact of a particular citizen participation initiative.

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