How Will Government Adapt?: Positioning the IRS for the Next Decade

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen shared his insights on his experiences to date in the closing session of the annual meeting of the National Academy of Public Administration in mid-November. Koskinen was confirmed as IRS Commissioner in December 2013. The position had been vacant for over a year, and during that interim, allegations of improprieties led to the dismissal of an interim commissioner along with other staff.

Developing Managers Versus Leaders

The Government Accountability Office has released its updated list of high risk areas across the federal government. It flags for attention the mission-critical skills gap in jobs such as telecommunications, cybersecurity and acquisition. But there is also a growing gap in experienced managers and leaders as baby boomers head for retirement. What approaches are needed to ensure the next generation of managers and leaders are ready?

The FY 2016 Budget: Details Worth a Look

Beyond the dollars in the President's budget, there are some details buried in congressional justifications that are worth examining. I think there are three sets of initiatives - that for the most part do not create new programs nor spend much in new dollars - that are worth attention: Building the capacity to implement and sustain cross-agency priority goals, Creating capacity to conduct meaningful performance-and-results assessments and link them to implementation, and Extending evidence-based approaches to solving problems.

Weekly Roundup: March 2-6, 2015

Social Impact Bond Legislation Introduced. Bi-partisan legislation creating a $300 million fund to pilot "pay for performance" grants has been introduced in the House, with similar legislation to be introduced in Senate. Acquisition Reform Underway. Much can be done administratively to fix the acquisition process, and Federal News Radio reports that OMB's Anne Rung has laid out a series of next steps to expand initiatives underway, such as category management. Shared Services Gains Some Friends.

What Does It Really Take to Get Things Done?

A recent survey of 400 global company CEOs found that executing their company's strategy heads their list of challenges. Related studies show two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies. What these studies found sounds very familiar to what seems to occur in government, as well. I've been writing about the importance of cross-functional collaboration for years - within an agency, across agencies, across levels of government.

Leveraging Your Community to Innovate Service Delivery

A new report by the University of Texas' Sherri Greenberg for the IBM Center for The Business of Government observes: "Increasingly, cities are the public sector delivery engines in the United States." She says that "City governments, residents, and interest groups are actively seeking methods for better service delivery" and that this often involves the use of technology. But technology by itself won't work.

Creating a Performance and Results Culture

Background. Over the past two decades, the performance movement has made steady progress. It has resulted in a focus on performance and results via strategic and annual operating plans, a supply of performance information to track progress of these plans; a demand for performance information via quarterly reviews of progress on priority goals and annual reviews of strategic objectives; and an infrastructure with chief operating officers and performance improvement officers.

CEOs Need Mentors Too

Suzanne de Janasz and Maury Peiperl interviewed dozens of corporate executives over the past two years to understand how "new CEOs in large organizations gain access to seasoned counsel and feedback." In a recent Harvard Business Review article, they summarized their findings.

Weekly Roundup: April 1 - 14, 2015

GAO Releases New Reports on Duplication, Overlap of Government Programs. GAO testified on its annual assessment of federal program fragmentation, duplication and overlap. In addition to providing details on 66 new areas where it found fragmentation, etc., it also released an evaluation and management guide to help Congress and others to conduct similar assessments. Fixing Federal IT.

The Low-Down on Agency-Run Strategic Reviews

This memo indirectly adds some urgency to the relatively new “agency annual strategic reviews” which are currently underway in agencies across the government. The 2010 amendments to the Government Performance and Results Act created a series of cycles for four-year strategic plans, annual plans, the designation of two-year agency priority goals and four year cross-agency priority goals. The law also requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to annually assess agencies’ progress.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
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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

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