Weekly Roundup: February 13 - 17, 2017

John Kamensky

Taking a Targeted Approach to Civil Service Reform

But little seems to happen.  There have been dozens of studies and reports over the past three decades.  However, there has not been a major overhaul since 1978, and many piecemeal legislative efforts, such as performance pay and streamlining the classification system, have been derailed.  So pragmatically, what can be done in the near-term, without a major legislative effort? 

Weekly Roundup: February 20-24, 2017

Regulation Elimination SWAT Teams.  Government Executive reports: “President Trump signed an executive order on Friday creating new task forces at every federal agency that will identify regulations for elimination or modification.”

Digging Out of a Digital Stone Age

The Government Accountability Office study went on to note: “Agencies reported 3,427 IT staff employed just to maintain legacy-programming languages, such as COBOL (1,085) and Fortran (613).”  In addition, the Office of Management and Budget recently observed that “43 percent of federal IT projects are reported to be over budget or behind schedule.”

Insights from New Zealand's "Results" Programme

Nearly three decades ago, New Zealand pioneered government reforms to make individual single-purpose agencies – a “vertical” solution -- more accountable and effective.  While successful, it exacerbated another challenge facing government agencies -- addressing “horizontal” societal problems, i.e., those that span traditional agency boundaries.  So, New Zealand undertook a new round of reform in 2012 to address a handful of persistent societal and economic problems by creat

Boosting American Scientific Brain Power

The new legislation adds to a loosely organized network of continuing federal efforts to boost Americans’ engagement in STEM education.  In fact, President George W. Bush placed a governmentwide emphasis on STEM education in his State of the Union address in 2006 as a part of his national competitiveness agenda.

Open Data Can Make a Difference!

Selecting a college can be one of the most expensive choices in life.  But until recently, the information sources to make an informed decision were scattered and of varying quality – rankings in national magazines, word of mouth, brochures from campuses, and the perennial college tours. 

Summer Field Trip in Annapolis

 Harvard professor Bob Behn calls the various “-stat” systems used across the country “Performance-Stat.” This includes the New York City CompStat, Baltimore’s CitiStat, and Maryland’s State-Stat, as well as Montgomery County’s County-Stat system.

OMB's FY 2012 Budget Guidance

OMB released specific guidance to agencies on how they should prepare their budget submissions to OMB, which are due September 13. The key element being that agencies should submit requests that would be 5 percent below what was estimated for FY 2012 when OMB submitted the president’s FY 2011 budget in February. There have been good stories on this in the Washington Post and

3D Worlds Come to Government

I saw an intriguing article in Government Computer News, by Alice Lipowicz, on how the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, the National Defense University, and the Air Force are getting together to create a government-only 3-D “virtual world” where they could conduct training and joint exercises. Paulette Robinson, dean of NDU’s “iCollege,” told GCN “Webinars are boring,” and that the immersive experience of bringing people together on-line can be dramatically improved.

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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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