Looking ahead at key challenges and opportunities for government

The Center’s new report is the result of multiple interviews with government leaders, an assessment of research and reports on challenges and opportunities from the Center and many other sources; and a roundtable involving key government, academic, and industry officials last May.  

Trend 4: Mission

Twenty-five years ago, federal agencies typically did not have key executives leading mission support functions. These functions were largely seen as administrative transaction services. However, ineffective mission support operations can be quite costly. For example in 2010, there were $641 million in grievance settlements at the Postal Service because of poor management training and inadequate labor-management relations.

Leadership in Action - The Business of Government Magazine Spring 2014

In meeting varied missions, government executives confront significant challenges. Responding properly to them must be guided and informed by the harsh fiscal and budgetary realities of the day. It can no longer be simply a wishful platitude that government do more with less. Leaders need to change the way government does business to make smarter use of increasingly limited resources—leveraging technology and innovation to be more efficient, effective, anticipatory, adaptive, and evidence-based in delivering missions and securing the public trust.

New Research Report Recipients

We are pleased to announce our latest round of awards for new reports on key public sector challenges, which respond to priorities identified in the Center's long-term research agenda, see businessofgovernment.org/content/research-stipends.

We expect the following reports to be published in early 2015.  Details of each report are included in the below short summaries.

 

Malcolm Bertoni, FDA: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) faced a mountain of criticism. It was thought that the public health safety precautions built into its drug evaluation procedures in reaction to the Thalidomide tragedy two decades earlier were responsible for delaying consumers’ access to vital new drug therapies. Particularly in light of the growing activism around fighting AIDS, critics argued that the FDA procedures were born out of disaster and therefore extremely overcautious.

Carter Hewgley, FEMA: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

When Carter Hewgley joined FEMA in 2011, the organization was focused on two things, the timely delivery of services and the processes required to collect and organize all the resources to support those services. FEMA was a “disaster-driven” organization, more focused on responding to the next emergency, rather than reviewing the lessons learned from a previous emergency. Although there were “analytical cells” across the agency and programs, enterprise-level analytical capability was still at its infancy.

Dean Silverman, IRS: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

Mr. Silverman joined the IRS in 2011 to build an advanced analytics program.  The primary objectives for his analytics program are to reduce fraud and improper payments. His focus has been reducing Identity Theft and fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program; reducing the tax gap (the difference between what is due from taxpayers and what is actually collected); and to identify improvements to core compliance challenges.

Mr. Silverman offers the following lessons when using analytics:

Best Practices for Leading Sustainability Efforts

 In attempting to tackle this question and assist government executive charged with wrestling with it, we present a new Center report, Best Practices for Leading Sustainability Efforts, by Jonathan M. Estes.

 

In October 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514, which outlines leadership efforts the federal government can make to reduce energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Federal agencies are required to develop strategies, implement and report on projects, and continuously improve their processes as a model for the country.

How Can CIOs Best Drive IT to Support Mission and Organizational Performance?

Federal Chief Information Officers, like their private sector CIO counterparts, lead the integration of information technology and organizational strategy.  CIOs must balance the daily needs of operational IT across their enterprise with how IT can contribute to longer term mission goals – including how government can best serve citizens with modern technology platforms, and protecting the nation from physical and cyber threats – while at the same time overseeing policy and resources for IT in a challenging fiscal environment.  U.S.

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