"Desperately Seeking a Watchdog"

Today, in an editorial, the New York Times called for a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed leader of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Noting that the interim Comptroller General, Gene Dodaro "has served ably," the Times editorial concludes that "without a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed leader, the agency lacks the power and validation to pursue its mission to the fullest. Mr. Obama can choose form the names he has been given, or request more.

But will it work?

The Congress has passed and the President has signed the new health care reform legislation. But, will it work?

5 (not just 4) names to be Comptroller General

On Tuesday, Congressional Democrats sent President Obama a list of four candidates to nominated as the next Comptroller General. The four are Rep. Todd Platts, Linda Bilmes at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, and former Assistant Comptroller Ira Goldstein. Today Congressional Republicans sent their own letter to the President recommending Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

Final Four to lead the GAO?

It is looking more and more as if we may soon see a nominee for the position of Comptroller General.   CQ staffer David Clarke is reporting that the Congress will soon forward President Obama four candidates to be CG and lead the Government Accountability Office.

The four names are:

Linda J. Bilmes – currently a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,

"Performance" in the FY 2011 Budget

Given what we have learned from experience and careful research, the performance management approach the Obama Administration lays out in the Analytic Perspectives section of the FY 2011 budget is very promising and represents a more aggressive, more coherent, and more comprehensive approach than that of past Administrations. We know that when leaders focus on a few priority goals, we see tremendous performance improvement on those goals.


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.

Debt Commission in the FY 2011 Budget?

Late in December 2009, the Senate increased the federal debt limit to a record $12.4 trillion – boosting chances for the establishment of a bipartisan commission to look for ways to force Congress to make painful spending cuts and tax increases. The Washington Post reports that even though such commissions have had a mixed record in the past, 35 senators from both parties support creating a commission to force a vote on budget cuts and tax hikes.

Performance Reporting: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Recent years have seen a growing emphasis on the reporting of the outputs and outcomes of government programs. Yet there is limited information on what outputs and outcomes are actually reported on in practice.

Happy Birthday GPRA

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) was enacted in 1993 to bring about a greater focus on results in the federal government. GPRA's requirements have built a strong foundation for results-oriented performance planning, measurement, and reporting.

Searching for a new Comptroller General

According to the “Head Count” in today’s Washington Post, President Obama has filled 293 (56.9 percent) of his 515 Senate-confirmed positions. Curiously, one position the Washington Post does not track is the Comptroller General of the United States.


Executive Director Emeritus
IBM Center for The Business of Government
United States

Jonathan D. Breul was the Executive Director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government and a Partner in IBM Global Business Services. The IBM Center for The Business of Government helps public sector executives improve the effectiveness of government with practical ideas and original thinking. The Center sponsors independent research by top minds in academe and the non-profit sector, and creates opportunities for dialogue on a broad range of public management topics.

Formerly Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director for Management in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President, Mr. Breul served as OMB's senior career executive with primary responsibility for government-wide general management policies. He helped develop the President's Management Agenda, was instrumental in establishing the President's Management Council, and championed efforts to integrate performance information with the budget process.

He led the development and government-wide implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act. In addition to his OMB activities, he helped Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) launch the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act. He also served for eight years as the U.S. delegate and elected vice chair of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Public Management Committee.

Mr. Breul is an elected Fellow of the National Academy Public Administration (NAPA), and an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's Graduate Public Policy Institute. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College.

Your cart

Your cart is empty.