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Former White House Official: Take Federal Management 'More Seriously'

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Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on Sunday became the latest official to bemoan the fact that the challenges of improving federal management strike many -- let’s face it -- as a bit dull.

Appearing on CBS' “Face the Nation,” the businessman and son and brother of famous Chicago mayors, characterized the just-announced fixes to the healthcare.gov website as “an enormous step” that gives great relief to staff at the White House. “But, to use a sports analogy,” Daley said, “this is a game of singles and doubles, there are no triples and home runs, and this is a very solid double” that still leaves the Obama team in the long game digging out of a “deep hole.”

Overall, “the federal government is way behind the private sector and even the states” when it comes to information technology procurement changes, said Daley, who co-authored an op-ed on the frustrations of federal management in Sunday’s Washington Post. “ But anyone who thinks the president is equivalent to a CEO who can just make changes really doesn’t understand how the government works” under both Republicans and Democrats, Daley added. Program management “is not sexy, not attractive, and Congress doesn’t pay a lot of attention to it except to score political points. At some point, the president and Congress need to take management more seriously.”

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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