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John Kamensky

Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government John M. Kamensky is a Senior Research Fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He previously served as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget, and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Government Reorganization 2016: No Magic Wand

February 4, 2016 The recent history of government reorganization efforts hasn’t been very impressive. President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union offered a fairly mild proposal to reorganize the federal government’s trade functions. Republicans had proposed this idea in the 1990s, but the only bipartisan response it generated was opposition to...

OMB, Agencies Need to Read the Fine Print in 2016 Budget

January 26, 2016 Buried deep in the 2016 consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress late last year to avert another government shutdown there are a number of obscure provisions that have important implications for the Office of Management and Budget and federal agencies. Like a trail of bread crumbs left by some performance-obsessed...

Government on the Go

January 13, 2016 Want to know the weather? There’s an app for that. Want to know how long the TSA security line is at the airport? There’s an app for that, too. In 2012, President Obama’s digital government plan ordered federal agencies to create at least two mobile apps. A lot has happened...

Strengthening the Links in Government

November 10, 2015 Over the past five years, the Obama administration has pursued a host of innovation initiatives that work to strengthen the connective links among and within federal agencies. The challenge? How do we solidify the best of them so they remain in place beyond the upcoming 2017 presidential transition? The evolution...

The Next Budget Crisis Is Days Away. Is There a Better Way?

October 22, 2015 We’ve dodged another shutdown. The two-month reprieve via a continuing resolution is now seen as a major victory. But as the glow fades, is there a better way? Several recent studies offer an optimistic path. A recent report by the Partnership for Public Service paints a grim picture of what...

Are Agencies Using Performance Info to Make Decisions?

October 5, 2015 Washington breathed a collective sigh of relief when a government shutdown was averted on Sept. 30. But that news overshadowed the quiet release of a Government Accountability Office report on the government’s progress on using performance information to make better decisions. GAO is mandated by law to track the progress...

What Do Fashion Design and Government Have in Common?

September 18, 2015 When most people hear about “design thinking,” they immediately conjure up an image of fashion design, or a sleek, new tech toy like the Nest thermostat. But design thinking is so much more than a physical product. It is a way of thinking. If you were asked to design a...

So Long to the Cubit and Ad Hoc Performance Metrics

September 3, 2015 A “cubit” is an ancient measure of length – from your elbow to your middle fingertip. We no longer use it, because everyone’s is different, and we get different results. The federal government has a project underway to move from its version of cubits to a more standardized set of...

Budgeteers Join Forces Online to Get More Bang for the Buck

August 27, 2015 Budgeting is often viewed as an arcane profession that projects an image within the federal government not unlike that of IRS auditors in the private sector. Everyone knows the job is important, few want to be one, and no one wants to sit next to them in the lunch room....

How to Measure IT’s Strategic Value

August 20, 2015 Information technology has made possible the availability of real-time data and the tools to display that data, such as dash­boards, scorecards and heat maps. This has boosted the use of data and evidence by government decision-makers in meeting their agency and program missions. But what about the use of performance...