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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How to Marshal the Experts in a Crisis

May 13, 2014 A deep knowledge of networks of science and medical researchers is invaluable when pandemics and health emergencies occur. But how do you marshal diffuse networks of expertise in a crisis? Almost 40 years ago, the Forest Service developed a command-and-control approach to battling forest fires that was successful in coordinating...

Here's Why DATA Act Implementation May Be Successful

May 6, 2014 Legislation recently passed by Congress will have far-reaching effects on federal agencies and hundreds of thousands of recipient of federal funds – grantees, contractors, universities, nonprofits, states and localities. The new law gives agencies three years to implement a set of new reporting requirements to track federal spending, but it...

Know How to Use the Power Tools of Change

April 28, 2014 What are the major levers for driving change in government agencies? Traditional tools are statutory updates, budgetary controls and executive orders. But one that seasoned government executives can use to drive change is control over delegations of authority. In a recent report detailing how several federal agencies created shared service...

How 'Monsters, Inc.' Met Priority Goals

April 16, 2014 Agency chief operating officers are required to conduct quarterly progress reviews on priority goals. Sometimes called “PerformanceStat” meetings, they can be effective problem-solving sessions or terrifying blame games. So, how do you make PerformanceStat meetings effective? OMB says they should be constructive and focus on learning. Observers such as Harry...

Innovation Lessons Down Under

April 10, 2014 Innovation has become a big deal in governments around the world. The Australian Public Service, for example, developed a formal action plan for innovation in 2011 and is rolling out a series of initiatives to build innovation into the government’s institutional framework. In a recent article in The Public Manager,...

Why a Budget Crisis Is Not the Time to Make Cuts Across the Board

March 28, 2014 When times are tight and states have effective performance budgeting processes, they are less likely to resort to across-the-board cuts. Are there lessons here for the federal government? New research findings by a team led Daniel Mullins at American University examine recent state-level trends in the use of performance budgeting...

Cross-Agency Priority Goals Set World-Class Benchmarks

March 14, 2014 The Office of Management and Budget has released an updated list of cross-agency priority goals for the remainder of the Obama administration. This is the second in a two-part series addressing the details of each goal. Cross-agency priority goals address the longstanding challenge of tackling horizontal problems across vertical organizational...

What You Need to Know About OMB's Cross-Agency Goals

March 13, 2014 The Office of Management and Budget has released an updated list of cross-agency priority goals for the remainder of the Obama administration. This is the first in a two-part series addressing the details of each goal. Cross-agency priority goals address the longstanding challenge of tackling horizontal problems across vertical organizational...

It’s Time to Play Moneyball for Government

March 7, 2014 President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal would invest in programs that demonstrate effectiveness and in generating new knowledge about what works through more evidence and evaluation. While the headlines about the president’s new budget focus on the big numbers, there is a significant back story about the expanded use of...

Can Protected Data Be Shared to Improve Services?

March 3, 2014 “Start with what you have,” is the advice consultants recommend to organizations that are just launching performance measurement initiatives. Now the Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance encouraging agencies to use existing program data in new ways. The Obama administration has championed open data by encouraging agencies to...

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