Federal Government Reform Resources: The IBM Center

There are six “go to” topics in the IBM Center’s Resource Center for incoming new political appointees as well as for veteran career executives preparing for the new year ahead

Topic 1:  Helping New Leaders Succeed.  The IBM Center has updated its two most popular books for new leaders in government:

Weekly Roundup May 1, 2015

U.S. CIO Tony Scott: OMB's draft FITARA guidance aims to advance IT reform. OMB released the much-anticipated guidance to reform how agencies buy and manage information technology for public comments. The comment period will remain open until May 30, but federal CIO Tony Scott, in an exclusive Federal News Radio interview, said OMB wants to move on the comments and refinements with a sense of urgency. DHS' Unity of Effort seeds the roots of change. The joint requirements council is one of the best examples of just how much the Homeland Security Department has changed over the last year.

The Best Transition In History

The Bush to Obama transition was the smoothest in our nation’s history, because the two leaders made it a priority to invest significantly in planning and preparation. The details of this successful transition are the subject of a new book, “Before the Oath,” by noted Presidential scholar Dr. Martha Kumar.

The Next Four Years: Managing a Balancing Act

Twenty years ago, federal agencies typically did not have senior executives leading key mission support functions such as finance, technology, acquisition, or workforce.  Over those two decades, Congress created a series of “chief” positions, reflecting trends in the private sector – chief financial officers, chief information technology officers, chief acquisition officers, and chief human capital officers.  They recently added performance improvement officers but without the “chief” title.

More Bread Crumbs in Approps Bill

The fiscal year 2016 consolidated appropriations bill was signed in mid-December, averting a potential government shutdown, but the bill was over two thousand pages long, with even more details in the accompanying committee reports.  The amount of detail is amazing, including a provision authorizing breastfeeding of babies in federal buildings (p. 582), but there are also five provisions that have potential long-term effects on government performance and management.

Weekly Roundup: August 8 - 12, 2016

John Kamensky

When Congress and Administration Agree to Save BillionsAccording to Federal News Radio, Congress gave a boost to the Administration’s IT category management initiative by passing the MEGABYTE Act (Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies) that requires agencies to inventory their software licenses and consolidate them where possible.

Weekly Roundup: January 9-13, 2017

Michael J. Keegan

Obama appointee to lead VA under Trump. Dr. David Shulkin, the Department of Veterans Affairs current undersecretary for health, was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the agency. Check out my interview with Dr. Shulkin on The Business of Government Hour.

Leadership Matters

The new administrator of the long-rudderless U.S. Agency for International Development is a real-time case study of how leadership matters. Rajiv Shah, 36, stepped into the job just five days before the devastating earthquake shattered Haiti. According to the Washington Post, Shah suddenly found himself designated the "unified disaster coordinator" and in meetings with the President in the Situation Room in the basement of the White House.


A "twofer" is when you get two of something at once - sort of two for the price of one. That's what you would have gotten if you were at the National Press Club yesterday morning.


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