Academy aims to get people talking about the budget and other challenges

The federal government should work more closely with its state and local partners to address budget shortfalls, the National Academy of Public Administration said Wednesday as part of a series on addressing deficits.  

The congressionally chartered, independent nonprofit, in partnership with the American Society for Public Administration, made its announcements as it launched a Memos to Leaders series, designed to start a dialogue on new solutions to domestic problems.

The discussions were headlined by former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., and former Democratic Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening, who drew from their experiences to advocate for better coordination across all levels of government.

“In recent decades,” Glendening said, “the use of a strong intergovernmental system as a forum for discussing the major domestic challenges facing our country, and as a framework for solving these challenges, has largely disappeared.”

Davis added, “What happens sometimes is that you might be able to solve a problem at one tier of government, but its passed down to the next [tier] and that doesn’t help anybody. It continues the fiscal stress.”

One possibility for intergovernmental collaboration would be instituting a variation of the sales tax where revenues would be shared across different levels of government, panelists said.

NAPA member Steve Redburn also outlined several ideas for reforming the budget process that were included in the first set of NAPA and ASPA memos. Among them were combining the authorizing and appropriating committees in Congress, prohibiting continuing resolutions to fund the government, and mandating the use of reconciliation -- a legislative tactic to expedite consideration of budget legislation.

“We need a working budget process and to sustain it over time,” Redburn said.

Throughout the summer, NAPA and ASPA plan to use their Memos to Leaders series to prompt discussion of issues such as recruiting top-level talent to the civil service; reforming the political appointee process; using technology to improve public engagement and government transparency; and eliminating overlap and waste.

“Success [of the Memos to Leaders program] will be measured by whether there is a new conversation,” ASPA Executive Director Antoinette Samuel said. “It is not within our means to make these changes, but it is within our means to put them on minds of the people who can.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.