Fixing the Federal Budget Process?

A recent report by the Partnership for Public Service paints a grim picture of what it sees as dysfunctions in the relationship between the executive and legislative branches, observing: “Polarization, acrimony and intense partisanship regarding matters both routine and critical to the country’s well-being have become the way of life in Congress and throughout Washington.” For the past four decades, there has been a formalized set of budget and appropriation processes, often called “regular order.” These broke down toward the end of the George W.

Weekly Roundup: October 19-23, 2015

Shared Services Is Getting a Governance Board. According to Federal Times, OMB’s acting deputy director for management has announced a major policy initiative: to create a governance board to oversee the development and implementation of shared services across different mission support functions (e.g., human resources, financial management, travel, etc.). The General Services Administration will host the governance board’s staff arm, the Unified Shared Services Management Office. OPM Leadership Blueprint.

Strengthening Connective Links in Government

The evolution of technology tools and the use of social media has dramatically lowered the technical and bureaucratic barriers to working more collaboratively. In the first days of his administration, President Obama publicly placed a premium on the use of collaboration.

Weekly Roundup: October 26-30, 2015

The Rise of Innovation Labs. NextGov reports: “The White House wants more federal agencies to tap into the creative ideas floating around in their employees’ heads by launching innovation labs, according to a newly released administration strategy for boosting U.S. innovation.” Many agencies have created innovation labs – not unlike the reinvention labs in the Clinton Administration – to provide employees a safe space to actively engage in testing out new ideas. DATA Act SBA Pilot.

Weekly Roundup: December 7 - 11, 2015

Here to Stay. Federal Computer Week reports that federal CIO Tony Scott “expects the Office of Management and Budget's year-and-a-half old Digital Service team and other expert tech groups will survive the coming presidential election and subsequent transition because the issues they address -- making federal agencies work better in an increasingly technical world -- make them critical.” The GAO Fix List.

Weekly Roundup: December 14 - 18, 2015

Holiday Cheers. The White House hosted a ceremony earlier this week that highlighted a number of good news stories in government. The ceremony included remarks by the White House chief of staff, the Director of OMB, and the Director of OPM. The event was well-covered in the media. Federal News Radio highlighted a new presidential executive order that includes new initiatives for recruiting and training new senior career executives. Government Executive highlighted the executive order’s raising of caps on how much agencies can spend on senior executive recognition awards.

Federal Government Reform Resources: Anticipatory Governance Report

Former Vice Presidential National Security Advisor Leon Fuerth, working with Evan Faber, has released a white paper that has been a decade in the making.  The paper describes how the federal government is increasingly facing challenges of greater complexity that demand faster action than the current institutional structures can respond to effectively.

Federal Government Reform Resources: Memos to National Leaders

If President Obama meets with Governor Romney to discuss ways to reform the operations of the federal government, here are some resources they have to draw upon. A number of think tanks have busily been preparing a series of white papers to spark the imaginations of those developing a reform agenda. These are not to be confused with agendas for new policies (such as climate change or immigration reform) or budget decisions, such as the pending fiscal debates.

Understanding Continuing Resolutions and Government Shutdowns

In only four cases since 1975 has Congress passed all appropriation bills before the beginning of the fiscal year.  In some years, like 1996, inaction led to agencies suspending operations.  This year, Congress adopted a six-month Continuing Resolutionfor all fiscal year 2013 appropriation bills, delaying final decisions until March 31st.  What do these kinds of delays mean for how agencies manage their monies and op

Bridging the Gap

I’ve been asked to participate as a “practitioner” on a discussion panel at the upcoming conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)  It is a high-powered conference of top academics from around the U.S.


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

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:

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