Citizen Engagement: GSA Update

While there’s been little open discussion in recent days about the progress of President Obama’s Open Government Directive, the General Services Administration’s quarterly “Intergovernmental Solutions” newsletter has dedicated its latest issue to describing dozens of examples of how citizen engagement is increasing in government – federal, state, local, as well as other countries. It is worth reading!

My Mission Statement

Happy New (Fiscal) Year 2010!

Have you made your New Year's Resolution yet? If not, here is an idea . . .

When I was working for Vice President Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government in the 1990s, we were encouraged to craft personal mission statements.

My personal mission statement for more than a decade has been to “help create a government that is results-oriented, performance-based, citizen-focused, and collaborative in nature.”

New Transparency: Recovery.Gov

There were lots of complaints that the initial Recovery.Gov website was not very helpful. That’s changed. The newly-refreshed website now has lots of new ways of finding and looking at information that is due to pour in next month when the first quarterly reports are due from about 90,000 sources.

Government Executive’s NextGov reporter, Aliya Sternstein provides a good review:

Creating Spirit Communities

No, this isn’t an early Halloween blog! I had the privilege of sharing lunch with Harvard Business School’s legendary

Rosabeth Moss Kantor last week during her whirlwind tour of DC where she is promoting her latest book: “SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good.”

Jumpstarting Performance Management

Last week, Senator Tom Carper held an important hearing based on a key finding from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last year. GAO’s 2008 report summarized a survey it conducted of agency program managers on their use of performance information.

The New Obama Performance Team

Yesterday, Jeff Zients testified before a Senate Committee on an ambitious agenda to reform governmentwide performance management. Zients is President Obama’s Chief Performance Officer and the deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget.

Falling Behind on Appointments

According to the Washington Post’s Al Kamen, “President Obama's personnel operation, which got off to a record-breaking start early this year in filling top administration jobs, has stalled a bit in recent months. In fact, it's well behind the pace set by the Bush administration in 2001 for the top 500 or so administration jobs -- and time is quickly running out to close the gap.”

ISO Good Ideas: Ask Employees Part II

Sixteen years ago in the heyday of reinventing government, if the White House wanted good ideas, it had to go look for them. The reinvention team had a team of 250 career civil servants and a network of teams in each agency that did the looking.

Engaging Citizens in Oversight

There’s a great lead article by Elise Castelli in this week’s Federal Times, “Feds to Empower ‘Citizen IGs’ to Watch Stimulus Spending.” This is a real experiment in the ultimate use of crowdsourcing – providing the data on spending via recovery.gov and letting on-the-ground citizens to help interpret and make sense of it in their communities.

Recognizing Civil Servants

One of the things I learned working on the Reinventing Government initiative in the 1990s for Vice President Gore was that civil servants do some pretty amazing things. And they get little recognition for it. But now it's time to make government cool again!

Pages

Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky 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, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com