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James R. Thompson

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Fixing The IRS

April 1, 2012 For decades the Internal Revenue Service tried but failed to modernize its massive data systems, but Doug Shulman finally has something to celebrate. When he became IRS commissioner in 2008, Shulman set out to rectify a key technology project, which had fallen years behind schedule and was tens of millions...

Just Rewards

July 15, 2007 Pay for performance can work if systems are properly designed and managed. Paybanding has become a loaded term, with different meanings for different groups. To top managers, it means pay for performance and an enhanced ability to hold employees accountable. To mid-level managers, it means more control over pay, promotion...

Reversing Reinvention

June 1, 2003 Daniel Cooper, chief of the Veterans Benefits Administration, has switched the agency's focus from employee and customer satisfaction to productivity and efficiency. aniel Cooper, a retired Navy admiral who now heads the Veterans Benefits Administration, calls his predecessor, Joe Thompson, "a visionary." But it's not clear whether Cooper means Thompson...

Taxing Transformation

December 1, 2000 The IRS is deep into one of the government's most massive restructuring efforts, but many wonder whether the agency can sustain its momentum. he plot is a familiar one in Washington. An agency stumbles, is roundly denounced on Capitol Hill, and new leadership is brought in to attempt a fix....

Experiments in Excellence

July 1, 1999 hey evoke a host of different metaphors: "islands of excellence," "catalysts for change," "antibodies," even "leper colonies." The person responsible for them has described them as "bonfires," saying, "If you want to create a revolution, start a hundred fires and fan the flames." "They" are the reinvention laboratories sponsored by...

The Management Game

July 1, 1999 his month, a landmark conference in Washington will bring together the two movements that have defined efforts to improve federal management in the 1990s: Total Quality Management and reinventing government. Government Executive is proud to present the new conference, Excellence in Government '99: Leading at all Levels, in conjunction with...

To Boldly Go . . .

April 1, 1997 hey are known as the Blair House Papers, after their place of origin-a historic red-brick building just across the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue-and they purport to offer nothing less than the road map (dare we say a bridge?) to a post-reinvented 21st century federal government. Indeed, prepared in early...

System Error

September 1, 1996 magine there was a tax system in which you could: File a single return which would provide data to both the Internal Revenue Service and your state. Choose your own filing method: paper, touch-tone phone, or modem directly from your personal computer to the IRS. Resolve issues or problems with...

Organizing the Conference (Sidebar to "Reinvention Revolution")

May 1, 1996 May 1996 REINVENTING GOVERNMENT Organizing the Conference (Sidebar to "Reinvention Revolution") By James Thompson n a letter and a personal appearance on March 25, Vice President Gore saluted organizers of The Reinvention Revolution: Reports from the Federal Front Lines, the first large-scale conference devoted to exploring the experience of some...

The Town Hall Wall (Sidebar to "Reinvention Revolution")

May 1, 1996 May 1996 REINVENTING GOVERNMENT The Town Hall Wall (Sidebar to "Reinvention Revolution") By James Thompson ne feature of the reinvention conference was a huge "town hall wall" on which conference participants could post their thoughts. Some of the entries on the wall: "Set the bar high. Pick out the tough...

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