Beyond "Boxology"

Skeptics call the President’s proposals to reorganize “boxology,” since they see them as merely shuffling around organizational boxes without anything actually being fixed.  Even a respected public management observer such as Donald Moynihan questions the Administration’s commitment: “Is it the nice, sensible documents that OMB puts out, or their actual management practice?”

April Showers? The Federal Performance Agenda

The big news for many was the announcement last week that Shelley Metzenbaum, who is the Office of Management and Budget official spearheading the Obama Administration’s performance management initiatives on a day-to-day basis, will be leaving to return home to Boston.  “She arrived with a plan and gave us a set of priorities,” notes Jeff Zients, who serves as President Obama’s chief performance officer.

The Physics of Federal Programs

Defining Federal Programs Isn’t Simple

There is more than one way to define what constitutes a federal “program,” and it is not unlike trying to define molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles.

Creating an Evidence-Based Government Creating an Evidence-Based Government

Policymakers are fixated on short-term budget austerity measures such as furloughs, pay freezes, and conference and travel spending. However, there is a small, but growing effort to take a longer, more strategic look at how to manage austerity by finding what works and targeting dollars there instead of to programs that cannot demonstrate effectiveness.

Four Evidence-Based Initiatives in the Federal Government

Within OMB, there is an active effort to catalyze agencies to develop and undertake a series of evidence and evaluation initiatives in ways that they can learn from each other and so they can quickly leverage promising practices.

Half Empty or Half Full?

A recent GAO report on the executive branch’s approach to new requirements in the Government Performance and Results Act recommends that “OMB improve the implementation of the act.” But a sub-theme in the report describes how agencies are actually building a long-term, solid foundation for a performance-driven government.

 

Climate Change Is Now a High Risk

Typically, we think of the GAO focusing on territory familiar to auditors, which is what most of the high risk list does:  managing federal real property, DOD supply chain management, NASA acquisitions management, modernizing federal disability programs.  But now it has added a politically-charged topic to its list, but has taken the middle of the road on the topic.

Center’s Guide for New Leaders Across Government Now Available

Four years ago, the IBM Center for The Business of Government released a book to guide new government executives, especially new political appointees. The goal of the book was to quickly acclimate new government executives to the world of public service as practiced in Washington, D.C.

Promising Practices for Interagency Collaboration

On occasions, the Government Accountability Office breaks the mold for its reports and looks for things that worked well and then tries to identify why, and then highlights those factors.  A new report examines four successful cross-agency collaborative initiatives that overcome program overlaps, and identifies four sets of promising practices that they use in order to be effective.

 

Performance Budgeting: Lessons from the States

New research findings by a team led Dr. Daniel Mullins at American University examine recent state-level trends in the use of performance budgeting or “budgeting for results” approaches. This research, presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration, offers some insights for any future federal performance budgeting initiative.

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