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Tom Shoop

Vice President and Editor in Chief Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.
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The Problem With Government Is Not the People

July 13, 2018 Twenty-five years ago, then-Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review issued a report on the Clinton administration’s plans to “reinvent” the federal government. The document made Gore’s position very clear: Bureaucrats were not to blame for government’s woes: The problem is not lazy or incompetent people: it is red tape...

Can You Tell the Difference Between the Trump and Obama Management Agendas?

July 6, 2018 Improving government management is one of the few remaining bipartisan endeavors in Washington. Whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House, the key tenets of recent management reform efforts tend to be similar, from overhauling the federal civil service to modernizing government’s information technology systems. In fact,...

Prez to Press: Is Reorganizing Government ‘Extraordinarily Boring’?

June 25, 2018 Reasonable people can differ on the merits of the ideas included in the Trump administration’s plan to reorganize and retool government operations, but there’s no denying that it is a substantive, serious policy document that addresses complex management issues in great detail. Indeed, the proposal is 132 pages of pure...

A ‘Bureau’-cratic Debate Over an Agency’s Official Name

April 25, 2018 Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (when he’s not occupied with his other job, running the Office of Management and Budget), has a bone to pick about the name of the agency he’s heading up on an interim basis. "I don't know why we call...

The Mayor, the Smart Sewer System and Burrito Night

February 14, 2018 South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg—whose claim to fame used to be that he was the youngest mayor of a city of more than 100,000 people in the United States—was a guest last weekend on National Public Radio’s news quiz show, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. In the course of...

How Come FBI’s McCabe Gets to Take Leave Before Retiring?

January 30, 2018 In reading news reports about the abrupt departure of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe yesterday, I was struck by one aspect of the story. As the Washington Post reported, “McCabe had planned to retire in March and use accrued vacation time to reach the date he becomes eligible for full...

Trump Continues to Insist He’ll Never Fill Some Top Government Jobs

November 3, 2017 President Trump took up the issue of the slow pace of political appointments in his administration Thursday, again indicating some of the top slots will never be filled. In a Fox News interview, Laura Ingraham asked Trump whether the lack of appointees at the State Department was hindering his ability...

Trump to Cabinet: I’m Cutting Your Budgets, But Expect ‘Lots of Heart’

October 16, 2017 President Trump held a Cabinet meeting Wednesday to discuss a range of domestic policy issues. He opened the session by telling the assembled department leaders they needed to fight to reduce their own budgets. But lest the president be perceived as a cold, calculating cost-cutter, he said he still expected...

Trump Disbands Labor-Management Forums at Federal Agencies

September 29, 2017 President Trump issued an order Friday disbanding labor-management forums at federal agencies that were created during the Obama administration. Trump rescinded Executive Order 13522, issued in December 2009, which established a National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and set up a mechanism for implementing department- and agency-level labor-management forums across...

Federal Agencies Respond to ‘Unprecedented’ Texas Storm

August 27, 2017 As massive amounts of rainfall associated with Hurricane Harvey caused severe flooding in Houston, Texas and other areas of the state, federal officials worked closely with state and local officials on rescue and recovery efforts. Harvey made landfall late Friday as a category 4 hurricane. By Sunday, it had been...