AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Susannah Zak Figura

Results 1-10 of 45

Fighting for Talent

April 15, 2001 Poorly planned downsizing and the coming wave of baby boomer retirements have agencies battling to attract, train and keep sufficient staff to accomplish their missions. t was bound to happen. Federal agencies could only downsize so much, take on so many new responsibilities, slow recruiting to a virtual standstill and...

Travel Advisory

April 15, 2001 Management improvements at the Bureau of Consular Affairs rest on a shaky funding base. he State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs operates in the unenviable world of no-win situations. If the agency does its job well, almost no one notices. But a single mistake can bring heavy scrutiny. Take the...

The Human Touch

September 1, 2000 sfigura@govexec.com he General Accounting Office-that bastion of knowledge that reports to Congress on all things going wrong at federal agencies-has often been a thorn in the sides of seasoned government executives. Over GAO's 80-year history, many a federal manager has received a pounding from his or her agency's authorizing committees...

Putting Performance Into Practice

August 15, 2000 author@govexec.com ew aspects of government management have been as transformed in the last few years as procurement. In implementing the 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, agencies have injected a considerable amount of performance pressure into procurement activities. Not only must contractors now compete for agency business based on cost and...

Small Government, Big Business

August 15, 2000 letters@govexec.com he federal market provided lucrative opportunities for contractors in 1999, as vendors tapped into the outsourcing needs of a slimmed-down government. Agencies now rely on private companies to do significant portions of their workloads. NASA, for example, buys off-the-shelf satellites rather than designing and building its own. The Energy...

Better Spacecraft

August 15, 2000 sfigura@govexec.com NASA's Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition program is the latest in a long line of innovative contracting strategies at the agency. The RSA program, based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., was born in 1996, when Goddard top management issued a challenge to reduce the lead time of awarding...

Faster and Cheaper, but Not Better

August 15, 2000 letters@govexec.com ince NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin introduced his "faster, better, cheaper" management philosophy in 1992, the space agency has had some impressive achievements. As Goldin told a Senate appropriations panel in April, NASA launched 146 payloads valued at a total of $18 billion in the past eight years; all but...

Contract Reform Still on the Front Burner

August 15, 2000 letters@govexec.com When Energy Department Secretary Bill Richardson announced he would pursue further management reforms in March, high on the list once again was contract management, an issue that continues to pose significant challenges for the agency. In January 1999, the General Accounting Office declared DOE's contract management a "high-risk area"...

High-Tech Hiring

August 1, 2000 sfigura@govexec.com obert Hosenfeld, personnel officer for the U.S. Geological Survey, has grand ambitions. He envisions a day when hiring someone to fill a USGS job will be almost entirely in a manager's control. With a few clicks of a computer mouse, managers will be able to classify jobs, post vacancy...

GAO chief lobbies Hill for workforce flexibilities

July 19, 2000 sfigura@govexec.com Congress should give agencies the flexibility to do such things as forgive employees' educational debt and allow retirement-eligible workers to continue on a part-time basis without sacrificing pension benefits, Comptroller General David Walker told a House oversight panel Tuesday. Although the General Accounting Office, which Walker heads, has a...