Making government work better
Part of the problem is inherent in government itself. Government never has to be efficient because it doesn’t have to make a profit or compete in the marketplace. This alone places a tremendous obstacle to efficiency and performance. Then there’s the issue of leadership. Those who rise to the top in government agencies are rarely the best and the brightest. Most don’t want any feedback from below because they already know it all. Between those attitudes and some employees who are essentially retired in place, is it any wonder that performance and efficiency aren’t soaring? I do remember one member of supervision (second level) that inspired extra effort on the part of the workforce. He believed in us when the workload soared and his quiet confidence under fire inspired us all. Unfortunately, I have only seen that kind of leadership once in 31 years.
Federal employees who rise to the top should not be placed due to a popularity contest or undeserved accolades. Not all employees should move into management or into a leadership role or be a mentor. There should be more federal civilian shuffles at lower grades to prevent the “that’s how it’s always been done” and “why fix what’s not broken” mentality. The years in service can cause complacency and seniority’s “better than you” mentality.
Find Silver Lining
Project innovation and federal entrepreneurs
Evidently, feds cannot apply for these interesting and influential jobs. Evidently, feds are an underclass whose members are occasionally called upon to “work with” the superior beings whom this administration brings in, but who are otherwise treated as neither “entrepreneurial” nor sufficiently “creative.” Look at the soft disparagement of feds in this article. Is it any wonder that the Federal Viewpoint Survey shows that feds believe they’re not encouraged to be creative? The problem starts with the president and his top officials!
The pivot to Asia hitting rough waters
Ridiculous: See the Defense Strategic Guidance of January 2012—worked out alongside a new Future Years Defense Program (2013-2017) with the participation of the service chiefs and presumably inputs from the regional commanders, who know nothing about defense budgets—all to fit the Budget Control Act (though before the actual sequestration). The simple facts in January 2012 were that the U.S. was phasing down in Afghanistan, didn’t need much in Europe, would continue the Navy in the Persian Gulf, and leave what we already had stationed in East Asia while continuing the Navy’s 60-40 shift to the Pacific. There were simply no promises of “more” than that. But the regional commanders are not constrained by budget considerations. And if they think the Congress would add “more” than what’s in the president’s budget submission, Congress simply never does.
H. H. GAFFNEY
Predicting the weather months in advance
When did weather stop being a chaotic system? When I was in engineering school 30 years ago, weather was the prime example of chaos at work. One tiny, insignificant tweak of the initial conditions yielded massive changes to predicted results even one month out. Now I see lots of scientists claiming to be able to solve the problem, given enough funding, better data, etc. “Tell me, if this scheme turns out to be as fruitless as the previous thousands of tries, can the American taxpayers get their money back? Who will be accountable?
So much taxpayer monies have been used toward our U.S. weather computer models, yet their performance continues to prove that money wasted. A 90-day forecast is and has been already applied using only the satellite data observations. Now that is money well spent.
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