Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

How Not to Set Up An Agency


At the risk of seeming to toot our own horn, I can't resist drawing your attention to Charlie Clark's in-depth piece on GovExec today about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Much has been written, broadcast and blogged about the political firestorm surrounding the agency and its acting director, Elizabeth Warren, but much less has been reported about the details of how it is being set up and managed. This story fills in the gaps.

The article shows the lengths to which lawmakers will go to hobble an agency whose creation they opposed. No fewer than 44 Republican senators have said they will oppose any nominee to direct CFPB in the absence of structural changes to the agency. (President Obama announced over the weekend that he would nominate Richard Cordray to lead the agency, throwing in the towel on winning approval for Warren get the job on a permanent basis.) The House Financial Services Committee wants to do away with the director position entirely, and run the agency via a commission. The House also has voted to place restrictions on the agency's funding sources and spending.

It's one thing to oppose creating an agency, and even to work for it to be abolished after it is created. It's another to deliberately try to hobble an organization established by law and prevent it from doing its work competently. Denying an agency effective leadership and micromanaging its organization and spending before it even has officially started its work is no way to do business. It simply results in bad government, and that in turn further undermines Americans' trust in public institutions.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.