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A Test of Leadership

March 17, 2010 Last August, President Obama announced an "innovation competition" at the Veterans Benefits Administration. He challenged employees to come up with ideas to cut applications backlogs, slash wait times for decisions and get benefits to veterans faster. Clearly, the agency's employees have ideas. They submitted 3,000 of them. Veterans Affairs Secretary ...

It’s a Stretch

March 3, 2010 The general budget freeze President Obama proposed in February put penny pinchers in vogue. With mandatory spending programs, net interest on the debt and dampened tax revenues squeezing discretionary accounts, federal managers now know that they will face mostly stagnant budgets for some years to come. That means they will ...

It’s a Stretch

March 1, 2010 Four tried-and-true ways to trim fat from your office budget-and avoid being asked to cut from the bone. The general budget freeze President Obama proposed in February put penny pinchers in vogue. With mandatory spending programs, net interest on the debt and dampened tax revenues squeezing discretionary accounts, federal managers ...

The Governmentwide Problem

February 17, 2010 When people ask you where you work, do you say, "The federal government," or do you name your agency? Do you work for Uncle Sam, or for his nephew the Bureau of Land Management, or his niece the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? When you complain about your job, ...

Toot Your Horn?

February 3, 2010 If federal managers want taxpayers to appreciate the work their agencies do, don't they need to publicize it? Ever since the Agriculture Department's Office of Public Roads tried to hire someone to do just that in 1913, publicity has been a dirty word in government agencies. When New York Rep. ...

Toot Your Horn?

February 1, 2010 Federal agencies struggle to promote their work without crossing the line into propaganda. If federal managers want taxpayers to appreciate the work their agencies do, don't they need to publicize it? Ever since the Agriculture Department's Office of Public Roads tried to hire someone to do just that in 1913, ...

Don’t Blame the System

January 20, 2010 Conventional wisdom holds that federal managers can't effectively hire, manage and discipline their workers because the government's civil service system hamstrings them with endless rules, regulations, procedures, limitations and requirements. In many government offices, that conventional wisdom has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Managers throw up their hands and blame the ...

Complex Risks

January 12, 2010 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization is challenging the way government is set up to deal with its citizenry. Mounting federal debt ...

Complex Risks

January 6, 2010 The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization is challenging the way government is set up to deal with its citizenry. Mounting federal debt ...

Complex Risks

January 1, 2010 With the first decade of this century behind us, federal managers face a daunting world ahead. The dawn of the second decade of the 21st century comes in the midst of a transformative time for government. Technological innovations are sweeping society, changing the way we communicate with one another. Globalization ...