Doing Big Things in Government

The release of a new book, “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon . . . ,” by Bill Eggers and John O’Leary, helped set the stage for the National Academy of Public Administration’s annual meeting that centered on management issues related to health care reform.

Social Media Trends in Gov for 2010

I am not a tech-toy pioneer. It was two years before I logged onto my company’s instant message system because I thought it would create ADD symptoms (it didn’t). I just got a Blackberry a few weeks ago (yes, Blackberry, not iPhone) because I lost my PalmPilot calendar and they don’t make them anymore. And I resisted a Twitter account because I thought it was silly, frivolous, and seemingly narcissistic.

Dealing with Poor Performers

The issue of poor performers is a perennial topic. This topic seems to continually top the list of issues the President’s Management Council – comprised of deputy secretaries – wants to address by streamlining the rules. But a new report by the Merit Systems Protection Board concludes that it is not the rules, but the managers, who are the problem.

Jumpstarting Performance Management

Last week, Senator Tom Carper held an important hearing based on a key finding from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last year. GAO’s 2008 report summarized a survey it conducted of agency program managers on their use of performance information.

Using Czars to Govern

The media, and some members of Congress, continue to focus on President Obama’s use of “czars.” An article today by the Wall Street Journal’s Neil King examines how this dust-up highlights the ongoing challenge of how government is increasingly facing problems that reach across traditional agency and program boundaries. These problems include food safety, climate change, and the Recovery Act.

Managing Risk, Improving Results: Lessons for Improving Government Management from GAO’s High Risk List

That list has grown from 14 programs in 1990 to 32 by 2015, when it was last updated.  These programs range from Medicare benefits to food safety oversight.

Dr. Kettl, one of the nation’s most insightful observers of government operations, stepped back to review what changes in the high-risk list mean over time.  He explored:

Improving Government Decision Making through Enterprise Risk Management

While historically, the federal government has tended to focus risk management in the financial arena, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has recently launched a major reassessment of the government’s approach—encouraging the use of Enterprise Risk Management.

Improving Government Contracting: Lessons from Bid Protests of Department of Defense Source Selections

Government administrative processes often receive criticism for focusing on inputs and not outcomes. A specific example of this criticism has been registered by members of the acquisition community regarding source selection processes used for contracting that could be improved to reduce bid protests, the appellate process for contracting. Protests do not occur frequently, but when they do occur the costs are significant—and when sustained, they can impact the process for many subsequent contracts.

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