Signs of Procurement Revolution

The Senate confirmed Dan Gordon as the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget. He comes highly recommended by Steve Kelman, a former holder of this job who was acclaimed as an innovator.

Cloud Forecasting

Yes, it is cloudy and raining this week, and the media has been reporting a glut of stories about cloud computing already. But the IBM Center has released a new report “Moving to the Cloud: An Introduction to Cloud Computing in Government” that is targeted to executives, not technologists.

Out- and In-Sourcing: True Confessions

Harvard Kennedy School professor Stephan Goldsmith recently shared an insight he learned: It is always tempting to set arbitrary goals to drive organizational change. Like most temptations, this one should be resisted. . . . I fell into this trap in 2000, when I served as the chief domestic policy advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush during his presidential campaign.

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.”

Saudi Conference: Lessons for Us

I’m back from my first visit to Saudi Arabia. I can’t say I saw any camels, but I did seen plenty of McDonalds and Starbucks! Conference participants were treated royally and we were treated with great hospitality, including an outdoor banquet with traditional Arabic sword dancing.

While the conference was seen as an international celebration of the Saudi Institute of Public Administration’s 50th anniversary, it became clear at the final closing session that this was also a serious event for them.

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.

Dispatch from Saudi Arabia

I'm in Riyadh this week, blogging from afar at a conference on public administration. The exotic is in the small things – Google comes up in Arabic with the scroll bar on the left and there's an arrow painted on the ceiling of my hotel room pointing to Mecca.

More on Senate Performance Hearing

Yesterday I highlighted Jeff Zients’ testimony before the Senate Budget Committee’s Task Force on Government Performance. But there were two other witnesses who provided some interesting insights, and Senator Mark Warner offered a glimpse of where the Task Force might be heading.

OMB's New Performance Principles

OMB Chief Performance Office Jeff Zients testified today before the Senate Budget Committee’s new Task Force on Government Performance. He laid out a set of five key principles OMB will follow in developing a governmentwide performance management system.

Acquisition 2.0

OMB yesterday released its latest guidance on federal acquisition. This new guidance, Increasing Competition and Structuring Contracts for the Best Results, provides guidelines for agencies to move to more competitive and lower risk types of contracts, along with semi-annual reports on progress.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
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202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com