Agency Customer Service Plans

Back in April, President Obama issued an executive order directing agencies to step up their efforts to improve customer service. Whatever happened?

Smart Streamlining

Two new reports out this past week focus on tools and techniques for agencies to cope with the new fiscal austerity they face in years ahead. One is by the Partnership for Public Service, the other by the Government Accountability Office. They are both worth reading because they focus on smart ways to make cuts – not the old standby of across-the-board chops to be “fair” to every program.

Getting Government to Use Performance Data

Academics sometimes hit the nail on the head! University of Wisconsin professor Donald Moynihan, a thoughtful observer of the evolution of performance management in the U.S, along with colleague Stephane Lavertu from Ohio State, examine historical GAO survey data to understand why recent federal performance improvement initiatives haven’t resulted in the hoped-for increase use of performance information to make decisions

Getting People to Solve Problems Without You

As organizations become more complicated, success can often be tied to the degree to which an organization is responsive to customers. This generally happens on the front line. So empowering front line managers to solve problems without going up through the chain of command is an important leadership strategy.

Is Performance Budgeting Hopeless?

A recent academic symposium on performance-based budgeting suggests that trying to apply this noble idea across government may be hopeless.

Decades of research and efforts to implement performance budgeting across federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. seem to consistently come down to the conclusion that no matter how rational it sounds, politicians don’t want to use it to make decisions.

Funding What Works Requires Building Performance Systems

The Urban Institute has launched a new web resource to explain Pay for Success, which it says is various forms of performance-based contracting used to support the delivery of targeted, high-impact preventative social services where an intervention at an early stage can reduce the need for higher-cost services in the future. Pay for Success funding systems can take many different forms and already operate in different policy arenas.

Highlights of Senate GPRA Oversight Hearing

What sparked his imagination?  Here’s a link to the hearing record.

Lead off witnesses included Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients and Comptroller General Gene Dodaro (who Carper jokingly referred to as Zients’ “wingman”).  Here are some testimony highlights from Zients:

Executive Branch Implementation Steps To Date. 

Is It Time to Adopt Portfolio Budgeting?

A Pipe Dream? 

OMB Guidance on Administrative Flexibility

President Obama’s February 2011 directive, “Administrative Flexibility, Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and Tribal Governments” instructed agencies to identify opportunities to streamline, reduce, or eliminate administrative requirements imposed on states and localities, and develop a plan of action in 180 days (August 26).  I summed it up in an earlier blog post.  OMB was to produce guidanc

Creating "Virtual Agencies"

We had no idea what he was talking about when he was describing the Virtual Department of Mary Washington (one of his constituents when he was the senator from Tennessee).  But he was just ahead of his time (and clearly ahead of where the federal government was in the early 1990s).  Since then, several countries have tried to create virtual agencies, most notably Canada, Australia, and Belgium.

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