Reinventing Government: A Principle-Driven Reform Initiative

Background.  Several days earlier, the three of us had been invited to share our ideas on how the vice president might proceed with his new mandate from the president to “reinvent the government,” where the vice president had to deliver a plan of action to the president in six months.  Gore’s newly-appointed advisor, Elaine Kamarck, received the task of getting this off the ground and she had invited the three of us to talk with her, based on the advice of David Osborne, a co-author of the best-selling book

Weekly Roundup: January 27 - 31, 2020

John Kamensky

Reducing Administrative Burden

Since 1991, the federal government has imposed 110 new requirements on university research grant recipients.  But it capped reimbursement for administrative costs in 1991 to be no more than 26 percent of a grant.  Partly because of the cap and increased mandates, universities have increased spending on research by $7 billion between 2010 and 2017 from their own resources.

What are some examples of these new requirements?

Weekly Roundup: January 20 - 24, 2020

John Kamensky

Inventorying Federal Research. Federal Times reports: “The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy . . .  wants to decrease burden on researchers by setting data repository standards for federal agencies to provide “optimization and improved consistency” across the federal government’s repositories.”

Weekly Roundup: January 13-17, 2020

John Kamensky

Weekly Roundup: January 6-10, 2020

John Kamensky

Scaling the Tower of Babel

Background.  Last year, more than 35 federal agencies awarded nearly $750 billion in grants to 40,000 grant recipients through 1,800 different programs. But the reporting systems for these grant programs is a diffuse, cumbersome document-based process where recipients fill out a bewildering array of forms across multiple agency reporting systems – a veritable Tower of Babel!

Weekly Roundup: Dec 16-20, 2019

Snubbing Anti-Deficiency Act Rulings. Federal News Network reports: “Back in September the Government Accountability Office released a 25-page report to House and Senate leaders describing nine new violations of the Antideficiency Act, some dating back to spending in 2000.” But: “Six weeks later, OMB General Couns

Weekly Roundup: Dec. 9-13, 2019

FITARA Scorecard.  Federal Times reports: “ The ninth version the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard, released Dec. 11, rates agencies in several modernization categories, including data center closure, cybersecurity and CIO support from leadership. Overall, nine agencies improved their scores, with 11 remaining stagnant and four receiving lower grades than FITARA 8.0.”


Emeritus Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government

Mr. Kamensky is an Emeritus Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and was an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas.

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