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.

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.

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

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.

OMB Guidance: What Is a Program?

Earlier this Spring, Senator Tom Coburn grilled an OMB witness at a hearing about why OMB had not yet implemented a provision in the GPRA Modernization Act requiring the creation of a government-wide inventory of all existing programs.  He pointed to a list developed by the Department of Education and wondered why this was not done by every agency in government.

A New Federal Performance Framework

requests for fiscal year 2014, which is called OMB Circular A-11.

Using Consultations to Make Informed Decisions

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) works for Congress and is a big proponent of performance-informed decision making.  So they’ve written a practical report on how Congress can effectively use performance information produced by federal agencies to make better decisions.  And they’ve illustrated the report with three examples of where congressional committees, over a period of years, used performance information to guide key decisions in diverse areas such as immigration, HIV/AIDs, and improper payments.

Standing Above the Rest

where he has left a lasting mark.

I’ve worked with Jonathan directly or indirectly over the past 30 years.  His retirement is a good inflection point from which to look back at what he has contributed during the course of his career of public service as well as his role as executive director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government.

Recovering from the Recovery Act: Part 4

What happened?

While there are debates as to whether the Recovery Act saved the economy or not, the one thing that has not been in the headlines was the way federal agency leaders implemented more than 200 programs that were used to distribute the money. 

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