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Better Choices

June 1, 2008 Here's a new way of thinking about government programs. People make bad decisions all the time. They make unhealthy food selections, choices that hurt their wallets and actions that not only aren't in their own interest, but are not in the public's interest either. A new book by University of ...

Expect Less

May 21, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This piece was originally written for GovernmentExecutive.com Get a grain of salt for all that Web-based hoopla and handheld whiz-bang and all that talk of solutions for the enterprise. We're now several decades into the information technology era, but the safest bet for a large-scale IT project -- in government ...

Expect Less

May 21, 2008 Get a grain of salt for all that Web-based hoopla and handheld whiz-bang and all that talk of solutions for the enterprise. We're now several decades into the information technology era, but the safest bet for a large-scale IT project -- in government or in the private sector -- is ...

Intelligent Design

May 7, 2008 The importance of designing workplaces with both efficiency and an agency's mission in mind was driven home at a recent congressional hearing featuring, of all people, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Harley Lappin, who rose through the prison system's ranks to become director in 2003, explained how ...

Intelligent Design

May 1, 2008 How your workplace is designed can have a big impact on how things get done. The importance of designing workplaces with both efficiency and an agency's mission in mind was driven home at a recent congressional hearing featuring, of all people, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Harley ...

Blast From the Past

April 16, 2008 The phrase "pay for performance" gets civil servants hot under the collar these days, as government leaders grapple with the perception that all members of the federal workforce receive the same treatment, regardless of their level of effort. The 1883 Pendleton Act launched the current civil service system. That law's ...

Employer of Choice

April 2, 2008 Here's a pop quiz on federal hiring: How old would you guess the average entry-level federal hire is? What's the most common way entry-level employees find out about federal jobs? How long do most new employees plan to work for the federal government? One might imagine the typical applicant to ...

Employer of Choice

April 1, 2008 New workers have good things to say about federal employment. Here's a pop quiz on federal hiring: How old would you guess the average entry-level federal hire is? What's the most common way entry-level employees find out about federal jobs? How long do most new employees plan to work for ...

Contest Time?

March 19, 2008 Why do people enter competitions? Because people like to compete. Why do competitions have prizes? Because people like to win. The British parliament recognized those concepts in 1714, when it initiated a contest with a 20,000-pound prize to the inventor who developed a reliable method of determining longitude -- a ...

It Ain’t Child’s Play

March 5, 2008 Assessing program performance is harder than one might think. It's been 15 years since Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act, a law whose sponsors hoped would help establish a government guided by goals and measured by results. Sen. William Roth, R-Del., said on the Senate floor in 1993: ...