Weekly Round-Up: September 30 - October 3, 2014

John Kamensky Next Steps on Implementing the DATA Act. Over the past week, there were a series of events around the implementation of the DATA Act. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, says a joint Treasury-OMB townhall focused on the usability of the new data to be collected, by creating a clear map and navigation of the soon-to-be revamped (again) USASpending.gov website. Adam Mazmanian, Federal Computer Week, notes “OMB is leading the charge to develop data definition standards, one of the biggest challenges of the implementation process.

Why Isn't Performance Information Being Used?

The initial premise twenty years ago was that if performance information was made readily available, it would be used by agency decision-makers. That turned out to not be true. Background. A recent GAO study conclude that the “use of performance information has not changed significantly” in surveys of federal managers between 2007 and 2013. More specifically: “. . . only two [of the 24 major] agencies – OPM and the Department of Labor – experienced a statistically significant improvement in managers’ use of performance information.” And four experienced a decrease.

Weekly Round-Up: October 6-10, 2014

John Kamensky The Focus of Defense Acquisition Reform? Katherine McIntire Peters, Government Executive, writes that a Senate investigation staff report about problems with defense acquisition programs found the key problem is – the acquisition workforce itself. She writes: Without better training and recruiting of the men and women who manage large weapons contracts, and more effective incentives to reward smart decision-making, the department may be doomed to continue spending too much money for too little return.” DHS Acquisition Reform.

Weekly Round-Up: October 13-17, 2014

John Kamensky Series of Articles on Procurement Reform. Federal News Radio asks: “Is it time for fresh procurement reform or just a rereading of existing law?” And its staff has responded with over a dozen stories over the course of the week, covering more discrete topics such as a 20-year timeline of reforms, pointers on program management, the importance of leadership and organizational culture, and more. A great collection, worth the time of anyone trying to understand the breadth of issues involved. Cathleen Garman, Designated Expert.

Is Recovery Act a Model for Ebola?

Little did I realize that the future would come so quickly, with President Obama’s announcement that he was appointing Ron Klain as the Ebola Czar! Klain, who was chief of staff for both vice president Al Gore and Joe Biden, was a key player in the implementation of the Recovery Act. The forum on the Recovery Act, Five Years Later was kicked off by Klain’s former point person, Ed DeSeve, who in 2009 and 2010 led the day-to-day efforts to coordinate the oversight of $787 billion in spending across 22 major federal agencies via more than 200 programs.

Weekly Roundup: October 20-24, 2014

Dan Chenok Interesting and informative infographic on national cybersecurity preparedness. Interesting notes on identity management and recent financial executive order. Interesting observations on open source and security. John Kamensky Countering ID Theft. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports that the White House is giving agencies a lead role in combatting ID theft, noting: “President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on Oct.

Weekly Roundup: October 27-31, 2014

Dan Chenok Big Data helps government move toward sustainability goals: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2014/10/governments-sustainability-... As Cyber Security Awareness month concludes, a view of how to build a strong cyber team: http://fcw.com/articles/2014/10/31/building-top-notch-information-securi... Agency FISMA reporting adapts with grea

Federal Program Inventory Deemed Useless

Senator Coburn has long campaigned against the seeming incomprehensibility of the federal government’s many programs. He sponsored two pieces of legislation in 2010 to address his concerns. The first bill requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to annually assess the fragmentation, overlap and duplication of federal programs. The second bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create and publish on the Internet an inventory of all federal programs. Background.

Magnifying the Voice of the Future

Dr. Boston, visiting the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship, sums up some of his initial research on how the U.S. and several other democratic countries address long-term policy issues, in a recent presentation at American University. Background. Dr. Boston says that there are a number of important societal problems that reach beyond the span of an election cycle, and that for political leaders there can be “a temptation for intergenerational buck-passing.

Next Steps in Moneyball Government

In mid-November, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an assessment of how well agencies use performance information in decision making, with a particular focus on program evaluations. Around the same time, a study on evidence-based policymaking in the states was released by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation; and a new book, Moneyball for Government, by Peter Orzag and Jim Nussle, was announced by the non-profit Results for America.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
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

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