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The Tyranny of Anecdotes

March 1, 2000 alaurent@govexec.com t the end of this month, agencies will deliver their first-ever annual performance reports, as required by the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The Clinton administration and members of Congress will manufacture spin and sound bites to make sure the reports get their 15 minutes in the...

The Curse of Can-Do

March 1, 2000 alaurent@govexec.com he Coast Guard is a can-do organization whose "can" is dwindling while its "do" is growing. Striving to live up to its motto, Semper Paratus-Always Ready-the Coast Guard has a long, proud tradition of never turning down a call for help or an added duty. Only recently did the...

Results Rule

January 1, 2000 alaurent@govexec.com wo things are clear about managing government in the new millennium: Return on investment will be the focus, and program managers will be expected to deliver it. All of the 1990s management reforms were in one way or another designed to make government's business leaders more accountable for getting...

Awards celebrate acquisition pioneers

November 2, 1999 Pssst, got a great acquisition story? If so, Government Executive and the Council for Excellence in Government want to know so it can be considered for special honors. In early 2000, a panel of federal procurement experts will choose the first set of winners of the "Business Solutions in the...

Tree Enterprise

November 1, 1999 o get a glimpse of the government to come, pull on your flannel shirt and hiking boots and head for the national forests in California. As you tromp through the woods, you may run across Merl Sturgeon and Bill Hay sizing up how much lumber a singed Sugar Pine will...

Law requires new guidance on governmentwide contracts

October 26, 1999 alaurent@govexec.com Congress has passed a law demonstrating increasing concern with how agencies are using procurement vehicles that allow them to avoid full-blown competitions. The 2000 Defense Authorization Act, enacted Oct. 5, targets governmentwide and multiagency task- and delivery-order contracts and the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedules for special attention...

Building Belief

October 1, 1999 ee-for-service operations that used to rely on word-of-mouth advertising are finding it no longer suffices in the fast-moving federal market for administrative services. That market is characterized by conditions under which branding can be used to best effect: Customers often haven't heard of the organizations selling their services; standards for...

Brand New Business

October 1, 1999 alaurent@govexec.com hen you think about fast, efficient, easy purchases, your thoughts probably don't automatically turn to the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service. But that could soon change. MMS is out to burn its image on your brain. Using a branding campaign worthy of an aggressive small business, the 15-person MMS...

Home-Grown Consultants

September 1, 1999 ou don't necessarily have to leave government to become a management consultant. You could take a rotational assignment to the Federal Quality Consulting Group, an inside-government fee-for-service "company" under the Treasury Department franchise fund. FQCG rose phoenix-like from the ashes of the Federal Quality Institute, which was shut down by...

Switching Sides

September 1, 1999 year after being named to the Office of Management and Budget's top management post, G. Edward DeSeve still had not been confirmed--so he quit. Or at least that's how it looked to observers. Despite DeSeve's recess appointment to be OMB's deputy director for management, the Senate stubbornly refused its blessing....