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Memo to the President: Performance and Results in Procurement

December 23, 2016 The federal government spends on the order of $450 billion a year buying goods and services—about 40 percent of federal discretionary spending. Following are three recommendations for improving the performance and results of the procurement system. Develop more information about contract performance The government, not to mention the general public,...

Turn Styles

September 30, 2009 The broad, sometimes little-defined concept of change-especially as it relates to improving government management-was a central theme of the 2008 presidential election. Now our new president is faced with having to make good on the promise of change during one of the most challenging economic environments the nation has seen...

Turn Styles

September 1, 2009 Which leadership techniques work and which don't in the quest to change government. The broad, sometimes little-defined concept of change-especially as it relates to improving government management-was a central theme of the 2008 presidential election. Now our new president is faced with having to make good on the promise of...

Staying on Track

September 1, 2004 Let's keep the focus of acquisition on service, not process. At a recent class for senior managers at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, a manager from the Defense Logistics Agency explained how her organization had used performance measures to reorient the agency toward results and customer service....

The Last Laugh

May 15, 2004 By ridiculing management failures, jokesters make it harder to create better government. Few office rituals are more popular than grousing-or at least snickering and eye-rolling-over the latest management fad. Two of the most common put-downs-"flavor of the month" and "this too shall pass"-originated in response to management fads. Such reactions...

Evolving Door

March 1, 2004 Typical Air Force officers or career employees of the IRS would no sooner harm their former organizations than betray a friend. hat should we think about situations where career military officers or civil servants retire and then join firms doing business with the government? This is an age-old question, given...

The Unfinished Agenda

September 1, 2003 n debates about procurement policy, voices are being raised in favor of moving the system "back to basics"-back to the traditional focus on constraints rather than best value. If these advocates of turning back the clock were to prevail, our 21st century government could end up with a procurement system...

The Right Pay

May 1, 2003 ith its budget proposal for a $500 million "human capital performance fund" in fiscal 2004, the Bush administration has associated itself with the view that pay for government employees should be based less, as Comptroller General David Walker puts it, on "the passage of time" and more on the quality...

The Loud Crisis

February 1, 2003 s the debate over the creation of the Homeland Security Department wound down last fall, many people, especially those who live outside the Beltway, probably were confused about why a bill that started out as a national security measure ended up in a debate about civil service reform and work...

Bringing Glory to Government Work

July 1, 2002 n a cold job market, working for the government is hot. The cover of U.S. News and World Report's 2002 career guide trumpeted "Great Government Gigs-Really!" Another headline declared, "Jobs Built to Last: Stability, Purpose and a Bevy of Openings Make Uncle Sam an Employer of Choice for Many." Given...

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