Modernizing the U.S. Federal Data System

An effective and efficient U.S. federal government requires evidence about where needs are greatest, what works and what does not work, where and how programs could be improved, and how programs of yesterday may no longer be suited for today. Having access to timely, accurate, reliable statistical data enables the federal government to make reasoned and disciplined decisions about where to target resources to get the largest possible return for the American taxpayer. The federal government’s statistical agencies and programs play a vital role in generating that data.

Weekly Roundup: Feb 3 - Feb 7, 2020

Michael J. Keegan

Agencies look to 'low code' to speed development. Increasingly federal agencies are looking to easy-to-use "low code" development techniques to build public-facing apps.

Providing Mission-Support Services Across Government

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is working with federal agencies on multiple fronts to save taxpayer dollars and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government. This unique mission support role ties back to GSA’s founding in 1949 when President Truman sought to create one agency to help the federal government avoid senseless duplication, excess cost, and confusion in handling supplies and providing space.

Managing Enterprise Risk

Federal agencies are hardly immune to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and uncertainty. Each day federal agency leaders  face risks associated with fulfilling their respective program missions and yet today’s headlines present stories of cyber hacks, abuses of power, extravagant spending, and a host of other risk management failures. In some cases, if leaders had taken the time to foresee and mitigate potential risks, many of these failures could have been either avoided or at least had less of an impact.

Modernizing Government to Meet 21st Century Realities

Margaret Weichert, deputy director for Management, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), joined me on The Business of Government Hour to discuss the Trump administration’s vision for modernizing the U.S. federal government to meet the mission, service, and stewardship realities of the 21st century. This is an excerpt of our conversation.

On Leading OMB’s Management Mission

Building a Weather-Ready Nation

Americans are increasingly dependent on timely, reliable, and accurate information on weather, water, and climate for the protection of life and property, as well as the enhancement of the nation’s economy. In fact, a nationwide survey indicates that weather forecasts generate $35 billion in economic benefits to U.S. households, about six times the cost spent on weather forecasting and research. Extreme weather becomes more common and damaging due to a confluence of physical and socioeconomic factors.

Providing Development and Humanitarian Assistance

USAID seeks to deliver sustainable development solutions. As part of its mission, USAID advances U.S. national and economic prosperity, demonstrates American cooperation, and promotes a path to self-reliance and resilience of aid recipients. The purpose of foreign aid should be ending the need for its existence, and USAID provides development assistance to help partner countries on their own development journey to self-reliance—looking at ways to help lift lives, build communities, and establish self-sufficiency.

Leading the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, Congress created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which provided compensation for economic and noneconomic loss to individuals, or the personal representative of individuals, who were killed or physically injured in the attacks.

Pursuing Digital Transformation, Bridging Digital Divides: Insights from Colombia

President Iván Duque of Colombia envisions his country as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and he has charged Sylvia Constain to realize this vision. Minister Constain joined me on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour--the Global Leadership Series: a conversation with world leaders and international public servants who are making a difference. Here’s a excerpt of our discussion.

Leadership in Action: NEW The Business of Government Magazine

Government has many diverse and unique missions, but a single constant remains regardless of the mission set: serving the public above all else.


Leadership Fellow & Host
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Michael has two decades of experience with both the private and public sectors encompassing strategic planning, business process redesign, strategic communications and marketing, performance management, change management, executive and team coaching, and risk-financing.

Michael leads the IBM Center for The Business of Government's leadership research. As the Center’s Leadership Fellow, his work is at the nexus of the Center’s mission – connecting research to practice. My work at that the Center complements frontline experience of actual government executives with practical insights from thought leaders who produce Center reports – merging real-world experience with practical scholarship. The purpose is not to offer definitive solutions to the many management challenges facing executives, but to provide a resource from which to draw practical, actionable recommendations on how best to confront such issues. Michael also hosts and produces the IBM Center’s The Business of Government Hour. He has interviewed and profiled hundreds of senior government executives from all levels of government as well as recognized thought leaders focusing on a range of public management issues and trends. Over the last four years, Michael has expanded both the show’s format and reach – now broadcasting informational and educational conversations with dedicated public servants on two radio stations five times a week and anywhere at anytime over the web and at iTunes. Michael is also the managing editor of The Business of Government magazine, with a targeted audience of close to 14,000 government and non-government professionals. Additionally, he manages the Center’s bi-annual proposal review process that awards stipends to independent, third party researchers tackling a wide range of public management issues.

Prior to joining the Center, Michael worked as a senior managing consultant with IBM GBS (Global Business Services) and as a principle consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Washington Consulting Practice (WCP). He led projects in the private and federal civilian sectors including the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, FEMA, and the Veterans Health Administration. Before entering consulting, he worked in the private sector as product development manager at a New York City based risk financing firm.

Since 2003, Mr. Keegan has been a reviewer for Association of Government Accountant’s Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR)© program, keeping abreast of the most recent developments in authoritative standards affecting federal accounting, financial reporting and performance measurement. He is also a member of APPAM, the NYU Alumni Association, and the Data Center & Cloud Talent, USA. He holds masters in public administration and management from New York University and was the founder of its DC alumni group as well as previous treasurer of the NYU graduate school’s alumni board.

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