Category: Magazines

Retaining Troop Talent

As thousands of deployed military service members return to the United States from Iraq and Afghanistan, many will seek employment in the civilian job market. Some veterans leave the military by choice, others are at the conclusion of their tour of duty, and still others leave the service prematurely due to injuries sustained in the line of duty. Whatever the reason for leaving military service, the troops are a diverse and valuable talent pool for the public sector. There is much that learning and human resources professionals, as well as line managers, can and should do to contribute to veteran employment.

Repurposed Coal Plant Sites Empower and Revive Communities

Coal plants be gone. Power plant repurposing projects around the nation highlight the compelling case for redevelopment and use of cleaner energy. These projects also offer points of reference for policy makers, public managers, business leaders, and community stakeholders to retire power plants in their localities by fostering enterprises focused on clean energy. Industry analysts predict that environmental and economic factors, including new federal regulations, will lead to the retirement of dozens of aging coal-fired power plants in the coming decade. Many old generating plants occupy strategic locations in urban areas, often with access to valuable waterfront. These sites present tremendous opportunities for new civic and private uses such as riverfront housing, shops, and offices, as well as museums, parks, and other community amenities.

Reorganizing the Federal Government to Meet Today’s Challenges

The need to reduce the federal deficit and improve the efficiency of government programs has increased attention on reorganizing federal agencies and programs as a mechanism to achieve these desired results. Additionally, there is sustained interest both in changing the role and reducing the size of the federal government. The key question of any desire to reorganize government is how to better design the federal government to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Reorganization Is a Metaphor for Government Reform

President Obamas State of the Union address signaled his intention to explore reorganization as a solution to resolving long-standing management and efficiency problems in government. He should be congratulated for recognizing that reforming the management of the sprawling federal bureaucracy deserves to be on the table when we …

Relocation Programs Deliver Benefits for Employees and Agencies

A little-discussed program that has big implications for those employees who use it also could be an area of cost-savings for agencies. Relocation programs used by federal agencies to provide the mechanics of geographic reassignments are seen as a procurement function and have faced budget cuts as agencies struggle to contain costs.

Reforming Mitigation Programs: A New Orleans Case Analysis

The well-documented increasing toll of disasters in terms of life and property losses should trigger major reform of the nations hazard mitigation policy and programs. A potential strategy for reform would emphasize changing the incentives faced by local communities (municipal-level of government) a…

Recruiting the Generations to Federal Service

The talk in government these days is about how to attract a new generation of workers to federal service. With a looming retirement tsunami about to result in the departure of thousands of baby boomers from federal jobs (90 percent of the Senior …

Reforming Civil Service

Agencies are considering changes to benefits packages that might attract new employees, especially in cybersecurity positions.

Recruiting and Retaining Young Talent

DEmographic changes in the composition of the federal workforce are posing technical and adaptive challenges to the continued smooth functioning of U.S. government agencies. Agency officials must plan to replace an unprecedented p…

Recovery or Resilience Along the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast?

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina blew ashore, and 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast were devastated, including levee destruction in New Orleans that left standing water in 80 percent of the city for six weeks. In five years, political administrations have changed at all levels of government, ye…

Recruiting and Engaging the Federal Workforce

The talk in government these days is about abolishing the General Schedule and replacing it with customized pay-forperformance systems. The General Schedule, however, is unlikely to disappear soon, so what can government executives …

Recommendations to Strengthen the Federal Budget Process

The federal government faces a large long-term mismatch between projected spending and projected revenues. Closing this fiscal gap will require hard choices to yield trillions of dollars in budget savings. Achieving these savings while sustaining the nation’s highest public priorities, supporting robust economic growth, and dealing with inevitable emergencies will be difficult.

Recipe for Producing Results in Government

I approached writing this review with a measure of cynicism. Would this be another anthology with little thematic integrity? In this instance, my cynicism was unfounded. The editors of The Trusted Leader, Terry Newell, Grant Reeher, …

Rebooting Governance to Connect With an Interdependent World

Transforming American Governance: Rebooting the Public Square Alan P. Balutis, Terry F. Buss, and Dwight Ink, editors (M.E. Sharpe, 2011) Do we really need another book on transforming government to prepare us for the myriad challenges that are sweeping over the public sector? Yesuntil government picks …

Ready, Set, Telework

As teleworking becomes more common among government employees, agencies must think carefully about policies and procedures.

Rating Customer Service Made Simple

Feedback USA, a pilot program launched July 2015 by the General Services Administration, sets out to uncover the truth about customer service in the federal agencies that citizens use the most.

Ready for the Reorg?

An effective reorganization requires a focus on strategic priorities and performance improvement, not just cuts.

Ratcheting Up Enterprise Risk Management

Agencies are improving their risk management efforts by taking a portfolio view of areas of risk, which can help agencies safeguard assets and deliver services more efficiently.

Public Managers,Volunteer Organizations, and Disasters

Public managers often interact with the people of established voluntary nonprofit, charitable organizations, especially in times of local or state disasters, whether or not those events receive presidential declarations of major d…

Public-Private Partnerships: BID Collaboration in Philadelphia

Neighborhood improvement districts (NIDs) are the same as business improvement districts (BIDs), also known as business assessment or improvement areas or special improvement districts. The Chestnut Hill NID, which was established in June 2004 and renewed as a BID in 2009, resembles most BIDs in its…

Public Engagement Is Fun and Games

Reaching out to the public and truly engaging the customer is an art form. Social and digital media bring community grassroots work into the realm of possible, transcending the traditional public meeting. Still, it takes vision, commitment, and interagency coordination to reach out, listen, and put into place what the public needs. The City of Salem, Massachusetts, and its partners used a custom, web-based video game to enable citizens to discuss neighborhood assets, opportunities, and priorities.

Promoting Minority Rights in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herezegovina

Preventing violence while achieving full civil and political rights for minorities living in post-conflict environments is a challenge. It depends on inclusion, trust, and international support of newly established democratic institutions. A workable outcome also is in the interest of international donor and peace-keeping organizations and countries because support for these external involvements cannot be sustained for long.

Process, Tools, and Culture: Three Dimensions of Knowledge Management

An ambulance is screeching toward the hospital, as the life of its precious cargo hangs in the balance. Response teams are battling multiple forces as an oil spill wreaks havoc off the coast. Analysts weave together pieces of the puzzle as the terrorists they seek scuttle to their retreat.     

Primer for Budgeting Federal Labor Costs

Labor costs (salary and benefit costs) for federal civilian employees often constitute a substantial portion of an agencys budget, typically exceeding 50 percent of its total budget. Even for those agencies that have considerable amounts of contract or grant funding, labor costs are an important par…

PRIDE in Miami-Dade Park and Recreation

The Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department (MDPR) is one of the largest municipal park systems in the United States. In October 2007, the new MDPR director invited more than 40 senior and mid-level managers to a full-day retreat at the historic Deering Estate at Cutler Bay. The purpose of …

Preventing and Detecting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

The passage and implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and distribution of more than $700 billion in funds to federal, state, county, and city governments and agencies by the Obama Administration has highlighted the role of public administrators in preventing and detect…

President Obamas Chilling Cybersecurity Challenge

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, released its page-turner, Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency, in December 2008. The report covers the sobering cybersecurity challenge (protection …

Play Matters: How 12 Communities Got Kids Active and Healthy

For 14 years, national nonprofit organization KaBOOM! has been building playgrounds across the United States in an effort to build communities and get children active and healthy. The organizations Playful City USA campaign honors communities that have made a commitment to improving the lives of chi…

Performance Management Progress

In addition to being the most powerful person in the world, the person elected president of the United States also is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the executive branch of government. Ordinarily, the organizational results buck stops at a CEOs desk, but recent presidents have seemed more inte…

Performance: Engage

Jon Wolper reviews
It’s Time for High-Performance Government: Winning Strategies to Engage and Energize the Public Sector Workforce by Howard Risher and William Wilder.

Performance-Based Pay at NGA

Over the past year or so, a great deal has been written about the problems of the performance-based pay programs at the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security (DHS). Employee complaints also forced changes in new pay programs adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission …

Patent Office Opens Data With New Portal

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has released a beta version of its open data portal, which includes a catalog of patent data and products, visualizations of patent data, and space for sharing work. A library of API is also in the works.

Passing the Torch But Not Just Yet

As the veterans and baby boomers prepare to make their graceful exits from the full-time federal workforce, agencies are exploring the best ways to pass the torch to the next generation of federal employees. In the next five years, 44 percent of all …

Partnering for Performance at HUD and VA

Collaboration is not always easy but the benefits and potential force multipliers are well worth the effort. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are in robust collaboration to achieve a daring administration goal to end veteran homelessness across the nation by 2015. Each agency’s success in achieving this audacious goal clearly depends on close and effective collaboration with the other. To be clear, the joint agency collaboration, like any meaningful partnership, must go beyond meeting together and talking about partnering.

Overcoming Challenges to Performance Measurement and Evaluation

Today public managers face demanding constituencies, interest groups, and advocacy groups with legitimate but conflicting interests, as well as aggressive media scrutiny. Global, national, and local forces demand higher levels of transparency, performance, and accountability; and public trust in gov…

Oval Office Outreach: How Reorganization Can Be Done

Large reorganizations are widely viewed as disruptivethreatening to employees and many stakeholders, as well as almost never money-saving. Organization changes do have these characteristics, but one needs to consider the outcomes to determine whether they have value. The emergence of new problems or the need for a new, high-prio…

Organizational Foresight and Stewardship

Foresight is defined as the ability to develop and maintain a forward-looking perspective and to anticipate emerging opportunities and problems by continually scanning the environment for trends and new developments. Foresight can be considered a behavioral inclination, referring to an individuals t…

OPM’s Training and Development Policy Wiki Manages Knowledge

Training and development are critical to an organization’s ability to accomplish its mission. Increasingly, knowledge management is an essential part of maintaining the value of training. In 2011 the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) created the Training and Development Policy Wiki for federal government training and development practitioners. The shared goal of its users is to learn, share relevant information, and collaborate across the government on all matters related to federal training and development.

OPM Looks to the Future

Beth Cobert, the acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, stepped into her new role during a time of turmoil for the agency. The Public Manager spoke with her about the importance of data-driven management, training, and cybersecurity vulnerabilities in government.

On the Hunt for Millennials

Young employees are important to the future of government, and Millenials often appreciate the opportunity to serve the public good. So how can agencies recruit and retain them?

Open Sources, Open Minds Can Bring Government Innovation

Government struggles to find solutions to both new and old problems. Does the public sector stifle innovation? How can we invest inand rewardinnovation? We see innovation in action every day in our lives. Whether its listening to music on a cell phone, or taking the latest medication to help tackle an ailment, our lives ar…

On OrderBetter Call Centers for Citizens

As agencies respond to the Presidents order to streamline customer service, it is critical they rely on people, process, procedures, and technology to ensure the highest quality is delivered for every caller, every day. The way we did business five years ago is no longer good enough to provide high-quality services in the quantity tha…

Obstacles to Disaster Recovery

Hurricane Katrina was the most costly natural disaster inAmerican history. Some elements of government response were excellentwarnings from the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, for examplebut other aspects of public …

Offering Institutional Insight to Government’s Leaders

The winning candidates from the 2012 elections will face a daunting set of challenges. As difficult as modern campaigns have become, the governance challenges may very well prove to be more vexing. Public service professionals, acting through the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), have long felt a responsibility to provide advice and counsel to incoming administrations.

Obamas Stealth Revolution: Quietly Reshaping the Way Government Works

Quiet grumbling has surfaced among the inside-the-beltway crowdand not just over healthcare reform. People are asking, Where is Obamas big-bang reform of government? Government reform has been a staple of presidential management for the last 50 years. President Kennedy brought in h…

Nuclear Progress

The Department of Defense is making progress on recommendations for improvement in areas of policy, personnel, and operations and maintenance.

Now Is the Time for Collaboration

The public tells pollsters that the most important issues facing our nation (other than the war in Iraq) are as follows: Security and safety Jobs Health care Education …

NIST Awards Cybersecurity Grants

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded five grants totalling almost $1 million to nonprofits looking to address the need for cybersecurity workers.

New Orleans: The Rising Sun?

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) created the Katrina Task Force (KTF) shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Each year, at ASPAs annual conference, members of the task force consider the implications of the event for disaster response and recovery, i…

New Look and Feel, Same Quality

This magazine uses the latest technology to bring you cutting-edge information and practical solutions to federal workplace challenges. The new monthly columns will keep you current on the latest trends, up-and-coming government employees who are making a difference, and best practices for tackling prominent issues facing government employees and managers.

New Imperatives for Public Managers

When people hear the term public servant, they think of presidents, governors, legislators, cabinet secretaries, agency directorsthe political officials featured on news broadcasts, on political talk shows, and in newspapers. These officials are an important component of our system of governance, de…

New House Bill Targets VA Recruitment, Hiring Challenges

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking  to get a House bill passed to help it fill its more than 40,000 job vacancies. Representatives of the Partnership for Public Service, the American Legion, and the VA testified before two subcommittees of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in March about how the VA can hire more effectively. 

Networked Governance: A Working Solution

If the 2005 aftermath of Hurricane Katrina did not convince us, then surely the rollout of Medicare Part D the following year provided graphic proof that the implementation of new programs requires the coordination and cooperation of a diverse, geographically distributed set of stakeholders. Governm…

New Agency to Oversee Security Clearances

The federal government is establishing the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) to modernize and strengthen the way it conducts background investigations for employees and contractors and to protect sensitive data.

Navigating Immigration Policy at the Local Level

Many local governments have been grappling with the relatively new issue of immigration for several years. Although some believe immigration policy should be a federal responsibility, the immigrants arrival at new destinations has prompted …

Neighborhood Watch in Belgium

Belgian neighborhood watch projects were inspired by neighborhood watch projects in the United States and United Kingdom (see, for example, www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/neighborhoodwatch). Citizens, police, and the municipality cooperate in a neighborhood watch project. One citizen functions…

Nepotism Warning

A recent report from the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board uncovered multiple examples of nepotism within the federal government. With a transition to a new administration around the corner, agencies would be wise to review government policies on the practice.

Navigating Federal Notices: October 2016

This roundup of the latest reports, orders, and memoranda from the key federal oversight and policy organizations includes news on telework, ride sharing reimbursements, and HR flexibility during hurricane season.

Navigating Federal Notices: November 2016

This roundup of the latest reports, orders, and memoranda from the key federal oversight and policy organizations includes a report on the Pathways program, FEVS results, and disaster readiness alerts.

Navigating Federal Notices: May 2016

This roundup of the latest reports, orders, and memoranda from the key federal oversight and policy organizations includes information on public service student loan forgiveness, the 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, and the hiring process for the Senior Executive Service.

Navigating Federal Notices: June 2017

Check out the news you may have missed on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, a FOIA request portal, and a new legislative effort to move federal agencies away from Washington, D.C.

Navigating Federal Notices: June 2016

This roundup of the latest reports, orders, and memoranda from the key federal oversight and policy organizations covers background investigations, skill gaps in critical occupations, and agency relationships with management organizations.

Navigating Federal Notices: July 2016

This roundup of government reports features the Federal Reserve Board’s findings on economic well-being, a distance learning tuition agreement of Excelsior College, and D.C. Metro closures.