AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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Does Performance Matter in Government?

March 29, 2016 I’m a fervent advocate of the use of performance information as an important management and decision making tool. So it’s not a natural act for me to raise this kind of question. However, several articles in a recent issue of Public Administration Review have caught my attention and challenge some...

Sharing Expertise Within Your Agency: A Users Guide

March 23, 2016 Most of an organization’s collective wisdom is locked in people’s heads. So how do you make that expertise available to colleagues within a large organization? The long hallways of the State Department headquarters in Foggy Bottom provide one answer. Over the decades, those corridors are where people from different offices...

The Next President’s Choice: Tear Down or Build Out?

March 8, 2016 Being a performance management advocate over the past two decades has required two traits—optimism and persistence. But the recent fiscal year 2017 budget adds a new dimension—hope! In 2004, the Government Accountability Office released a report touting how, after a decade, the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 had...

The Digital de Tocqueville

March 1, 2016 In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America” as a reflection of what he saw in his visits to the new world. He hoped that the French, his target audience, would develop a deeper understanding of democracy’s potential. Similarly, Beth Simone Noveck, in her new book “Smart Citizens, Smarter...

Making Taxpayer Dollars Deliver

February 18, 2016 President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, released in early February, builds on bipartisan momentum at all levels of government to increase the use of data and evidence in making decisions so “government can do more of what works and less of what does not.” As such, the budget proposes...

Government Reorganization 2016: No Magic Wand

February 4, 2016 The recent history of government reorganization efforts hasn’t been very impressive. President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union offered a fairly mild proposal to reorganize the federal government’s trade functions. Republicans had proposed this idea in the 1990s, but the only bipartisan response it generated was opposition to...

OMB, Agencies Need to Read the Fine Print in 2016 Budget

January 26, 2016 Buried deep in the 2016 consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress late last year to avert another government shutdown there are a number of obscure provisions that have important implications for the Office of Management and Budget and federal agencies. Like a trail of bread crumbs left by some performance-obsessed...

Government on the Go

January 13, 2016 Want to know the weather? There’s an app for that. Want to know how long the TSA security line is at the airport? There’s an app for that, too. In 2012, President Obama’s digital government plan ordered federal agencies to create at least two mobile apps. A lot has happened...

Strengthening the Links in Government

November 10, 2015 Over the past five years, the Obama administration has pursued a host of innovation initiatives that work to strengthen the connective links among and within federal agencies. The challenge? How do we solidify the best of them so they remain in place beyond the upcoming 2017 presidential transition? The evolution...

The Next Budget Crisis Is Days Away. Is There a Better Way?

October 22, 2015 We’ve dodged another shutdown. The two-month reprieve via a continuing resolution is now seen as a major victory. But as the glow fades, is there a better way? Several recent studies offer an optimistic path. A recent report by the Partnership for Public Service paints a grim picture of what...

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