Category: Magazines

Influencing Government Networks through the Campaign

As the federal government increasingly turns to the private sector for advanced products and services, agencies and companies are finding it harder to deliver high-quality results on time and within budget.Several factors are contributing to this trend. …

Improvising Air Force Transportation Systems by Using Alternative Energy

Air Force leaders, like many public-sector managers, must strive to introduce innovative alternative energy systems while encouraging cost-effectiveness and systematic learning. Education and hands-on experience are key ingredients to evaluating and implementing public-sector alternative energy prog…

Improving Oversight and Accountability One Island at a Time

Challenges are nothing new to islanders. Living on small dots of land in the vast Pacific and the Caribbean Oceans, the people of the U.S.-affiliated insular areas have been caught in the path of typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis, wars, and the ups and downs of tourism-based economies. …

Improving Government Transparency Online

Democracy is founded on the principle that the moral authority of government derives from the consent of the governed. That consent is not particularly meaningful, however, unless it is informed.When government makes decisions in …

Improving Educational Accountability in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) supports and serves 178 school districts that educate more than 800,000 preK-12 students statewide. The CDE also serves adult education and the states libraries. Three years ago, CDE approached the nonprofit National Center for the Improvement of Educationa…

Improved Trust Fosters Improved Results

On many occasions, I have referred to communication as the lubricant that enables organizations to function smoothly. However, trust in organizations is even more fundamental. Without trust, effective communication is impeded and organizational performance suffers. Stephen …

Improving Customer Service Must Be an Agency Priority

Customer service is a core function of government. Although a few agencies are meeting expectations, it seems that most customer service interactions with government agencies frustrate and disappoint citizens. Now is the time for government to identify ways to improve how agencies deliver customer service.

Implementing the Four-Day Workweek

Government organizations are in a perpetual state of change. A key element to the introduction of change, as well as its eventual success or failure, is the human resource manager. Author Paul Light notes in his book The Four Pillars of High Performance that organizations do not become robust by mer…

Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

Climate change is increasing the occurrences and severity of hurricanes, droughts, floods, extreme heat, and so forthall of which have an impact on the health of populations. Just consider some headlines from 2010: 1| Eastern and Midwest United States Suffer from Extended Heat Wave 2| Russia Cancels Export of Wheat i…

Igniting Employee Engagement

Staying engaged amidst the uncertainty of the federal realm can be tough for government employees. The 2015 FEVS, released last month, reveals that several engagement factors have improved at least one point since the 2014 results.

Image of Public Service: Working Together for America

The Coalition for Effective Change (CEC), which is made up of 34 organizations with a combined membership of more than 600,000, celebrated its 15th anniversary on June 22, 2009. The CEC came together in 1993 to provide a voice for executives, managers, and professionals in programs to reform the fed…

Hunkering Down under the Big Sky

Undoubtedly, many public managers are scrambling to identify cost-saving ideas and to otherwise cope with the economic malaise that has gripped our country. While the impact of the downturn is far from uniform, most jurisdictions are probably con…

Human Capital The Most Critical Asset

Since the comptroller general placed the management of human capital on the U.S. Government Accountability Offices list of high-risk programs in 1999, a series of legislative and policy initiatives have tried to recast the way fed…

Human Capital Councils Help Drive Change

As his administration settles into the executive branch, President Obama faces the largest number of challenges of any new president in recent memory. Building a strong, skills-based federal workforce is key to addressing these challenges in the years ahead, and to do so, government agencies need to…

HR Strategies for Driving Change: Finding the Right Road

The recent Nobel Prize gives us hope that managers, employees, and political leaders who work in the United States federal civil service can work together peacefully, productively, effectively, and efficiently. Im referring, of course, not to the Nobel Peace Prize that President Obama won, but to th…

How Well the Government Uses Its Resources

The Federal Invest in What Works Index from Results for America highlights how well seven agencies are doing on 10 criteria related to their use of data and research in decision making.

How to Be a Fox

Paula Ketter reviews The Public Sector Fox: Twelve Ways to Become a Brilliant Public Sector Manager by Marcial Boo and Alexander Stevenson.

HowTo.gov Provides Government Tools to Engage Citizens Online

Social media in government is here to stay. The team in the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) knows this well. This is the team that provides agencies with best practices, training, and shared tools and technology so they can use social media and other digital media to better serve their customers and ensure people can access government information anywhere, anytime, on any device. HowTo.gov is the platform that pulls all…

How the Congressional Budget Office Earned its Clout

In tracing CBOs history over more than three decades in his new book, Philip G. Joyce highlights key points when CBO directors could have bowed to pressure from political mastersbut none did. As Congress and President Obama raced to avoid defaulting on the nations debt in the last week before the August 2, 2011, deadline, the Congress…

How’s Your Information Governance Strategy?

On December 31, 2016, all agencies will need to be in compliance with the 2011 Presidential Managing Government Records Directive to retain their email records in an electronically accessible format.

How Networking and Video Can Disrupt Community Violence

This commentary deals with using the power of networking and video to disrupt the community violence epidemic. But it also speaks to the potential of deploying behavioral theory to good effect in some areas of societal challenge. Influencing peoples behavior is nothing new to government, which has o…

Homes Wiped Away by Natural Disasters

Natural disasters leave survivors who will never recover from the impact or never own a home again. News coverage of Hurricane Irene showed ravaged communities and homes that disappeared under the floodwaters of swollen rivers. Atlantic seashore communities; inland Paterson, New Jersey; and towns all over Vermont were damaged by the st…

Hiring Vets in the Fed

Veterans possess skills and dispositions that could make them an asset to any agency. But hiring and retaining veterans requires agencies to pay deliberate attention to their talents and needs.

Hiring With Analytics

Agencies can use data to make their hiring process more competitive and find the best candidates for the job.

High-Impact Decisions: Report Card Grades Regulators

The Mercatus center at george Mason university has a new report card to grade the executive branch on high-priced decisions. it encourages regulatory impact analysisa tool presidents have tried to get agencies to apply for decades. A few years ago at home, I found water on the bathroom floor. After cleaning up the water with some…

High-Speed Rail: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

In April 16, 2009, President Obama startled the passenger rail community by saying what no other president has: that high-speed rail (HSR) is an idea whose time has finally arrived in the United States. In his words, “Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour,…

Hacking for the Greater Good

Government hackathons bring together the public and private sector to find innovative solutions to problems and make a difference for their community.

GSA Set to Lead Next Generation of Digital Government

The General Services Administration’s new Technology Transformation Service will bring together services provided by the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, the Presidential Innovation Fellows, and 18F to help agencies with technology solutions.

Growing into My Dreams

My new corner office has a wonderful view from the windows that completely line the outside walls. The cherry wood furniture is rich in texture. Its mid-2007, and an unexpected series of events have led to my promotion to a new …

GSA Accidentally Releases Google Drive Items

The government agency 18F recently accidentally released Google Drive items by sharing them on the online messaging service Slack, which saves shared files in its database to create previews and make documents searchable.

Greg Burel

As the director of the Strategic National Stockpile, Greg Burel ensures important medicines get to where they are most needed in times of emergency.

Growing Cybersecurity Talent

NSA’s College of Cyber hosted 43 camps across the country for middle and high school students and their teachers. The camps cover online threats, basic cyber defenses, and the ethics of operating in the virtual world

Greener Transport Mitigates Climate Change

The emission of greenhouse gasses is considered by most scientists to be a major cause of observed climate change. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 28 percent of all GHG emissions in the United States came from transportation uses in 2006, 97 percent of which was from the combustion of fossil fuels. Creation of the fuel…

Great Leaders Are Great Story Tellers

The phenomenon of telling a story to demonstrate a behavior or principle that you wish people to emulate is what Paul Smith addresses in his book Lead with a Story.

Government Workforce of the Future: Four Key Trends

Hundreds of reports are published annually documenting shifts in workforce trends. Each year, the list of trends seems to include the same themes: diversity, globalization, the aging workforce, and economic impacts. These trends are predictable and often not clearly actionable for most public agenci…

Government-Wide Collaboration Boosts National Trade

When Congress established the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) in 1992, it authorized the commerce secretary to act as a messenger of commerce, communication, and innovationlike the Roman god Mercury. Housed in the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department …

Government Employment Lags Private Sector

Federal government employment climbed only 0.8 percent in 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private sector employment expanded at more than four times the rate of the public sector.

Government Goes Digital

Citizens expect to interact with their government online. How are governments meeting them where they are?

Governing Through Networks

During his first one hundred days in office, President Barack Obama showed a preference for using pragmatic approaches to tackle big policy and implementation challenges. To do so, his administration is developing large-scale networks in areas such as food safety, healthcare reform, and clim…

Governing for the Future

Jon Wolper reviews Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing by Beth Simone Noveck. The book explains how government must use the knowledge and expertise of the people.

Going Green by Optimizing Data Centers

The Data Center Optimization Initiative is intended to move the government toward a more green and less costly IT structure by closing data center and making the remaining centers more efficient.

Good Governance for Worldwide Independence

The summer 2012 issue kicks off with a mini-forum on inter-institutional collaboration overseas. With an emphasis on governance solutions for interdependent times, Sarah Ringler reports on what she has observed on efforts to promote minority rights in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina; David Simpson shares his thoughts on how the global community is continually strengthened through exchange programs; and Oblayon B. Nyemah and Donnell Scott provide first-hand reporting on successful governance…

Global Lessons on Development Planning and Climate Hazards Reduction

Climate change is a global reality. Shrinking glaciers and changing seasonal weather conditions point to developing differences in the norms of the 21st century and of the immediately preceding era. Starting in the1980s, international aid organizations such as the Swedish Red Cross and the Organization of American States noted developing v…

Go For Results Rather Than Reorganization

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama complained that a reorganization of the government hadnt taken place since the age of black-and-white TV. Just a few weeks earlier, he signed into law the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act. These two events may seem unrelated, but they shouldnt. If we were ask…

Giving the SES a Check Up

A new report from the Partnership for Public Service and McKinsey & Company highlights good practices within the Senior Executive Service and ways it can improve.

GIS: Wonder Tool for Collaboration and Sustainability

On a recent episode of the hit TV show 24, the lead character and shows hero, Jack Bauer, used geographical information systems (GIS) to thwart a trap designed to kill FBI agents. He took a graphic image of a building and overlaid it with real-time data points of the locations of all the agents in t…

Getting Clear About the Cloud

Suppose your project team has just been tasked with building a text-searchable database from 400,000 JPEG images of archived government documents. Each image must first be converted to portable document format (PDF) and then be converted to searchable text via optical character recognition (OCR). The time available for this task? Two weeks, at which time the database will be needed for another project.

Get Ready for Your Mentoring Relationship

Most professionals do not deny that mentoring is an important leader ship competency and often a professional responsibility. Yet, most leaders, while well intentioned, are underprepared for the mentor role. Leaders who make the time to prepare themselves to be mentors report increased self-awareness, confidence, and competence in the role,…

Genocide and the Ethics of Public Management

I met Ambassador Krueger and his wife and coauthor, Kathleen, at the American Society for Public Administrations (ASPAs) annual conference in Dallas earlier this year.After reading their book and chatting further with the authors, …

GAO Pinpoints Challenges of Reporting WIOA Job Training Data

A GAO report, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Information on Planned Changes to State Performance Reporting and Related Challenges, examines challenges states are facing in collecting and reporting job training data as required by WIOA.

Generation Y Yearns for Challenging and Satisfying Government Work

A proper onboarding process geared toward Generation Y’s needs can give federal agencies the upper hand. When Baby Boomers began entering the federal workforce more than 40 years ago, they were welcomed into a workplace that embraced the idea of apprenticeship and knowledge transfer. Fresh off of the counterculture revolution, Boomers were eager to make a difference in running their country and were racing to answer President John F. Kennedy’s call to government service.

Gaining Cultural Competency to Advance Public Service

This book’s editors and more than 30 contributors have done our community of public managers a great service by framing the issue of cultural competency and harnessing good governance tools and techniques more fully than has been achieved to date. As a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey during the mid-1960s, a trained cultural anthropologist, community organizer, and long-time career federal program manager and executive, I confess to a clear bias on the topic of this book.

Future Compensation of the State and Local Workforce

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2016, 124 million people will be employed by the U.S. private sector and that the state and local government workforce will increase to about 21 million. These increases come at a time when the large baby boomer cohort is beginning to retire…

From Flower to Garden: Katrina Electricity and Emergency Management

Hurricane Katrina taught federal, state, and local public managers extensive lessons about the criticality of electricity reliability in a disaster. In the report, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, the White House conceded that, Hurricane Katrina had a significant impact on…

Four Keys to Improving Cybersecurity

The White House’s Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy offers four recommendations for making the government an employer of choice for cybersecurity experts.

Food for Thought: Is a French Fry a Vegetable?

The cost of healthy foods and the lack of physical activity among children and teenagers are fueling the obesity epidemic. Bottom line? Too many people cannot afford to eat healthy. Well, the truth is they cant afford not to eat healthy, but eating healthy foods is too expensive. A grocery store I was in recently had a nice display of…

Five Trends in Digital Government

A recent report by Accenture, Public Service Technology Vision 2015, named five technology trends that are influencing the way governments interact with citizens.

First Bite: Food Safety Gets Collaborative

FDA lays collaborative groundwork to implement fundamental shift on food safety. About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a significant publ…

Find Your Federal Job Fit: A Guide for Federal Job Seekers

Federal job seekers must articulate their own worth and career ambitions in applications and tie their experience to agency missions and strategies. with hiring reform, 2012 federal jobseekers may have more luck in a streamlined review process. New Years Eve is a short time away, and with it comes the resolutions and impetus for peopl…

FEVS Signals Inclusive Workforce

In addition to the Employee Engagement Index, the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey contains the Global Satisfaction Index and the New IQ Index, which focuses on workplace inclusion.

Finding a Talented Workforce

Governments are doing their best to recruit, manage, and train talent to meet current needs and serve citizens well.

FEMA, Katrina, and Operations Research

In the wake of the poor government response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, many questions have been asked about why the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with a host of other federal, state, and local emergency management …