Leadership in Action - The Business of Government Magazine Spring 2014

In meeting varied missions, government executives confront significant challenges. Responding properly to them must be guided and informed by the harsh fiscal and budgetary realities of the day. It can no longer be simply a wishful platitude that government do more with less. Leaders need to change the way government does business to make smarter use of increasingly limited resources—leveraging technology and innovation to be more efficient, effective, anticipatory, adaptive, and evidence-based in delivering missions and securing the public trust.

Weekly Roundup May 8, 2015

Rewiring the Pentagon: Carter's new cyber strategy. After two months on the job studying the Defense Department's cybersecurity and defense IT needs, Secretary Ashton Carter will on April 23 unveil a new DOD cyber strategy that emphasizes developing the personnel and technologies necessary to stay abreast of an ever-evolving threat. Government’s Mobile Sites, Apps Rated More Highly Than Many Companies’. More and more, Americans are turning to their smartphones to check their bank balance, look up a restaurant listing -- or even access a government service.

Using Evidence and Evaluation to Govern

The Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance to agencies encouraging them to use program evaluation and evidence-based decisions when developing their budgets for FY 2014.  This commitment continues a trend begun in 2009 when President Obama took office.  But in similar memos in the past, the commitment was demonstrated by offering agencies more money if they undertook evaluations.  For example, in 2010

Does Citizen Participation Work?

As federal agencies tighten their belts, they’ll be questioning the value of citizen participation initiatives under the Obama Open Government Initiative. Do they lead to better results or reduced costs?

Does Citizen Participation Work?

A new report, “A Manager’s Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation,” by Tina Nabatchi, an assistant professor at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, is designed to help answer these questions.

Dr. Nabatchi says “Two types of evaluation are relevant for assessing citizen participation:”

Obama's FY 2012 Management Initiatives

For the most part, the management section of the budget reflects a continued commitment to initiatives initially detailed in last year’s budget:

“Building a government that works smarter, better, and more efficiently to deliver results for the American people is a cornerstone of the President’s Accountable Government Initiative and a key focus of this Administration.”

HUD Transformation Initiative

As mentioned here a few days ago in blog entry on innovation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been given in fiscal year 2010, what seems to be a large pot of money and new authority to conduct a transformation initiative in four areas that have been historically underfunded in HUD as well as most other agencies:

New OMB Program Evaluation Guidance

The Office of Management and Budget released new guidelines to agencies to increase their emphasis on conducting program evaluations. According to the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe in his article, “OMB Wants More Data on Government’s Performance,” OMB’s Jeff Zients told him: “We’re working to create a system that’s actually used by senior decision-makers.”

Building Performance Systems for Social Service Programs

Prodded by past scandals and court orders, the State of Tennessee today has one of the nation’s best performance-contracting systems for its child welfare program. In this report, Patrick Lester documents its evolution and use, and how Tennessee has avoided some of the common design flaws endemic in other social service programs using the performance-based contract model.

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