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Don’t Look to Trump to Overhaul the Bureaucracy

January 31, 2017 Federal employees who are worried about the future should stop watching President Trump and look up Pennsylvania Avenue, where the real tsunami of civil service reform will likely originate. Trump can order as many hiring and pay freezes as he wishes, but only Congress can change the laws governing civil...

Donald Trump Should Stop Tweeting and Start Learning

December 16, 2016 For many presidents, the transition into office turns out to be their Achilles heel in political battle. Effective transitions involve much more than interviewing gaggles of potential appointees, rock stars, sychophants and even the occasional professional skateboarder. Filling the cabinet and staffing the White House is serious work that makes...

Partial Quality Management

August 15, 2014 From the archives of Government Executive... April 1994—It has been almost five years since government began the push for total quality management and continuous improvement. Since then, agencies have spent millions of dollars studying just how to do it, and millions more setting up their systems. There is no doubt...

Excellence in Government

October 1, 2011 It's achievable. Here's how. These are, to say the least, not the best of times for the federal government. The first round of debt reductions took a rusty meat ax to federal agencies, and the next round will be even blunter. Congress and the president might just as well put...

Taking the Cake

December 1, 2008 Bush's actions taint the anniversary of hallmark reforms. December marks the 30th anniversary of three of the most important administrative reforms enacted during the past half century: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Ethics in Government Act and the Inspector General Act. The Bush administration will not be holding an...

Making Reform Stick

October 8, 2008 If one thing is sure about the future of bureaucratic reform, the next president will sweep away whatever his predecessor has done and develop an entirely new package of change. That's what President George W. Bush did with Vice President Al Gore's reinventing government campaign, which now resides in a...

Making Reform Stick

October 1, 2008 A management agenda by any other name should build on what works. If one thing is sure about the future of bureaucratic reform, the next president will sweep away whatever his predecessor has done and develop an entirely new package of change. That's what President George W. Bush did with...

Laws Gone Astray

December 1, 2003 ecember marks the 25th anniversary of three of the most important administrative reforms ever enacted. There might have been a celebration, perhaps even a congressional resolution, if the laws had worked. Unfortunately, the Civil Service Reform Act, Inspector General Act and Ethics in Government Act, all signed in 1978, have...

Making Do at NASA

November 1, 2003 ow that the results are in on the causes of the Columbia disaster, it's abundantly clear that the accident stemmed from more than just mechanical failures. According to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, the disaster was rooted in NASA's "can-do" culture. While this ethos produced what the board called "tenacity...

Government by the Numbers

October 1, 2003 s Democrats and federal employee unions battle the Bush administration's proposal to put thousands of federal jobs up for competition, the government's hidden workforce has crept to its highest level since the end of the Cold War. According to new estimates by the Brookings Institution's Center for Public Service, which...