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A New Name for OMB Watch

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Keep an eye on the website of the 30-year-old nonprofit OMB Watch. As of the New Year, the foundation-funded policy research group has a new name: The Center for Effective Government.

The idea, according to spokesman Brian Gumm, is to communicate the staff’s broader focus beyond the Office of Management and Budget. In recent years that has included producing papers and commentary on such issues as government transparency, agency performance, and health and safety.

OMB Watch’s founder, Gary Bass, now executive director of the Bauman Foundation, approves of the change. “They spent a year trying to find the right name that reflects the approach that new president Katherine McFate hopes to convey,” he said . “Nothing is permanent.”

When Bass founded the group in 1983, its legal name was the Focus Project Inc. But reporters, he recalled, kept calling it OMB Watch, which stuck.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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