Since the creation of the IBM Center for The Business of Government over 15 years ago, we have sought to help public sector leaders and managers address real-world problems by sponsoring independent, third-party research from top minds in academe and the nonprofit sector. We aim to produce research and analysis that allows government leaders to address their mission and management challenges more effectively and efficiently.
Policymakers are fixated on short-term budget austerity measures such as furloughs, pay freezes, and conference and travel spending. However, there is a small, but growing effort to take a longer, more strategic look at how to manage austerity by finding what works and targeting dollars there instead of to programs that cannot demonstrate effectiveness.
Recent reports demonstrate the difficulty of defining what constitutes the “atom” of a federal program, but a recent Washington Post article begins to uncover why it is so elusive, much like finding sub-atomic particles in physics.
The increasing chorus of calls for more accountability reaches beyond recent demands for firing officials at the IRS, VA, and GSA for various perceived misdeeds. Just what is accountability, and how can it be seen as a constructive, instead of a punitive, element of public management?