AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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The Secret to Staying Off the High-Risk List

May 18, 2016 Some say getting placed on the Government Accountability Office’s high-risk list is like the 1977 Eagles’ hit, “Hotel California,” where “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” But in fact, over a third of agency programs once placed on the list have been removed....

You May Be Doing Customer Service All Wrong

April 15, 2016 In the current issue of Harvard Business Review, two researchers who have worked with global commercial clients over the past 25 years offer some counter-intuitive advice for improving customer service. Jochen Wirtz and Ron Kaufman said it is important to focus on deep cultural change in the workforce, not just...

How to Design Contracts that Deliver Results

April 5, 2016 The “pay for success” movement in the non-profit world is starting to take hold at the federal, state, and local levels. But a prerequisite is having some way of measuring success—and ensuring that funding models encourage it. The Urban Institute has launched a new web resource to explain various forms...

Does Performance Matter in Government?

March 29, 2016 I’m a fervent advocate of the use of performance information as an important management and decision making tool. So it’s not a natural act for me to raise this kind of question. However, several articles in a recent issue of Public Administration Review have caught my attention and challenge some...

Sharing Expertise Within Your Agency: A Users Guide

March 23, 2016 Most of an organization’s collective wisdom is locked in people’s heads. So how do you make that expertise available to colleagues within a large organization? The long hallways of the State Department headquarters in Foggy Bottom provide one answer. Over the decades, those corridors are where people from different offices...

The Next President’s Choice: Tear Down or Build Out?

March 8, 2016 Being a performance management advocate over the past two decades has required two traits—optimism and persistence. But the recent fiscal year 2017 budget adds a new dimension—hope! In 2004, the Government Accountability Office released a report touting how, after a decade, the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 had...

The Digital de Tocqueville

March 1, 2016 In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America” as a reflection of what he saw in his visits to the new world. He hoped that the French, his target audience, would develop a deeper understanding of democracy’s potential. Similarly, Beth Simone Noveck, in her new book “Smart Citizens, Smarter...

Making Taxpayer Dollars Deliver

February 18, 2016 President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, released in early February, builds on bipartisan momentum at all levels of government to increase the use of data and evidence in making decisions so “government can do more of what works and less of what does not.” As such, the budget proposes...

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...