Federal agencies are operating through huge technological, demographic, societal and political shifts. Fast Forward explores how government leaders are grappling with these changes and transforming the way agencies fulfill their missions and serve citizens.
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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., expressed disappointment OMB did not send a witness to the hearing.

Focus on ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ in Agency Reform Efforts, Senators Tell Trump Administration

Lawmakers also say agencies need to solicit input from front-line feds.

September 13 Leave a comment

How Agencies Can Find and Develop Future Leaders

Like so many problems in our organizations, the pain is mostly self-inflicted.

September 13 Leave a comment

Agencies Told to Cut Regulatory Budgets in Fiscal 2018

Unusual White House plan to lower incremental costs confuses some.

September 11 Leave a comment
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke meets with officials carrying out response and recovery efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

How FEMA Can Reduce Fraud in the Wake of Harvey and Irma

Post-disaster environments are notoriously prone to scams.

September 12 Leave a comment
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is one of the lawmakers who pushed through legislation requiring the commission on evidence-based policy.

Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Calls for Interagency Coordination

Report recommends a National Secure Data Service that would help with specific projects without compromising privacy.

September 7 Leave a comment

Leadership Vacancies Have Slowed Security Clearance Reform, Officials Say

To cope with delays, the Pentagon issues risky interim clearances, resulting in “rapists and pedophiles” having access to classified information.

September 6 Leave a comment

None of the 19 Agencies Trump Sought to Abolish Appears in Danger

Congress thus far has preserved their funds as lawmakers face a crammed September calendar.

August 30 Leave a comment
A U.S. Border Patrol agent gives information about working for the agency to Ric Kindle in April, at the Country Thunder Music Festival in Florence, Ariz.

DHS Employs a Reliable Tactic to Fulfill Trump’s Mandated Hiring Surge—More Money

Some Border Patrol applicants will see higher recruitment incentives.

August 29 Leave a comment

The Federal Managers Who Aren’t Afraid to Take Risks

New data suggest the conventional wisdom is wrong, raising important policy questions.

August 24 Leave a comment
Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testifies before Congress in 2009.

GAO Chief Dismisses 'Legend' that Agencies Can’t Escape High-Risk List

Dodaro calls Trump reorganization effort “a perfect opportunity” to use the biennial tool.

August 23 Leave a comment

OMB Steers Agency R&D Budgets Toward Security, ‘Energy Dominance’

Fiscal 2019 initiatives should be “budget neutral” and agencies should consider private-sector solutions, guidance states.

August 22 Leave a comment

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic with Evidence and Innovation

How Congress and the Health and Human Services Department can reduce opioid-related deaths.

August 22 Leave a comment
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson Announces Minority Hiring Initiative at State

Each ambassadorial position would require at least one minority candidate to be considered.

August 18 Leave a comment

Political Environment a Major Factor in More than 40 Percent of Senior Exec Departures

Inadequate pay and excessive bureaucracy also cited as reasons for dissatisfaction in latest exit survey from OPM.

August 17 Leave a comment
Office of Personnel Management headquarters in Washington.

With No Confirmed Director, OPM Could Struggle to Implement Trump’s Agenda

‘Clearly, it’s a problem,’ a former director says.

August 17 Leave a comment
President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 31.

How Trump Can Successfully Reorganize the Government

If the White House turns implementation over to "careerists" at OMB, "it will never happen," former personnel director says.

August 15 Leave a comment

When Amazon Meets Government

If a provision in the House version of the annual Defense authorization bill becomes law, the world of federal procurement faces major disruption.

August 14 Leave a comment
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has cited the ongoing reorganization at the State Department as a reason for delays in appointments.

State Department Confronts North Korea With Rows of Vacant Positions

Trump has nominated candidates for only a third of key slots; envoy to South Korea is acting.

August 11 Leave a comment

Bridging the Gap Between Political Appointees and Civil Servants

The chasm between appointees and career staff often leads to dysfunction. It doesn’t have to be that way.

August 10 Leave a comment
President Donald Trump walks to Marine One from the White House on Aug. 3.

Trump Administration, Reversing Trend, Sheds 11,000 Federal Employees in Six Months

Agencies had gained 50,000 feds during Obama’s last two years.

August 4 Leave a comment

Agencies Need A STEM Talent Management System

The General Schedule system is not suited for managing knowledge workers.

August 8 Leave a comment

Why Americans Wait Two Years to Have Their Social Security Claims Heard

Budget, staffing and system issues bog down the system at SSA.

August 4 Leave a comment

OPM Offers a New Career Guide for Executives

The framework lays out a professional development plan for Senior Executive Service members.

August 1 Leave a comment
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan speaks during a news conference in May.

There's No Proven Need for Trump's Mandated Hiring Spree at Homeland Security, IG Says

Two agencies would need 1.2 million applicants to fulfill Trump's request, given current hiring and attrition rates.

August 1 Leave a comment
Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., wrote the successful amendment.

House Rejects Outsourcing of Federal Jobs in Vote to Block Revival of Circular A-76

Rep. Cartwright argues that public-private competition has not produced savings.

July 28 Leave a comment

More Than a Dozen Unions Announce Opposition to OPM Nominee

Goerge Nesterczuk has gone two months without receiving a confirmation hearing.

July 27 Leave a comment

How Agencies Can Deliver Better Results for Less Money

Contractor compensation should be tied to how well vendors deliver on program outcomes.

July 26 Leave a comment

Mainstays of GSA's OASIS Contract Office Take New Jobs

Federal Acquisition Service continues reorganization.

July 26 Leave a comment

GAO Finds Phased Retirement Can Benefit Employees, Management

Number of feds enrolled in program remains small, but there are new signs of growth.

July 25 Leave a comment

The Performance Revolution Government Needs

When the brand of government is unattractive to top talent, it should be a reason for reform.

July 24 Leave a comment

Nine Major Agency Reform Proposals in the House GOP Budget

Eliminating programs, restructuring agency components, streamlining hiring and more.

July 18 Leave a comment

Funding What Works

It may seem obvious, but few things in Washington are straightforward.

July 18 Leave a comment

The Urgent Case for Reforming the Civil Service

We’ve forgotten the first lesson of the best-run companies: people are the most important asset.  

July 17 Leave a comment

How VA Reform Turned into a Fight Over Privatization

Democrats and service organizations worry that a Republican push to expand health-care choices for veterans will sap money from the ailing federal system.

July 17 Leave a comment

Government Warms to Continuous Monitoring of Personnel With Clearances

Software that scours public records for potential red flags gains traction as officials wrestle with a serious security clearance backlog.

July 10 Leave a comment

Why Innovation Programs Should Target Middle-Aged Bureaucrats

Data show that the average age of the most successful innovators is somewhere in the mid-40s.

Nashville, Tennessee.

Agencies Could Learn a Lot From Tennessee's Shift to Pay for Performance

The state's civil service reform efforts offer many lessons for the federal government.

June 28 Leave a comment

Beyond Buyouts and RIFs: A More Effective Approach to Workforce Management

The power of combining data analytics with mobility programs.

June 20 Leave a comment

Can Employees Embrace Government Restructuring?

The success (or failure) of the Trump administration’s plans depends on the answer.

June 19 Leave a comment

Treasury Managers Stress Teamwork in Major Information Technology Upgrade

Cloud services award will come Wednesday amid Trump budget uncertainty.

June 13 Leave a comment

Trump's Rows of Unfilled Agency Jobs Could Bump Up Against Vacancies Act

Worst-case scenario is that decisions by acting executives are rendered invalid.

June 23 Leave a comment
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said the agency acts as "counselor and mentor for networking and helping you all the way, answering your questions."

SBA Chief Promises Women Contractors Greater Efficiency

McMahon touts her agency as vital to the nation’s 29 million small businesses.

June 15 Leave a comment
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