Friday, May 19, 2000
Mr. Lawrence: Welcome to The Business of Government Hour, Conversations with Government Leaders. I'm Paul Lawrence, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the co-chair of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government. The Endowment was created in 1998, to encourage discussion and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness. Find out more about the endowment by visiting us on the web at www.endowment.pwcglobal.com.
The Business of Government Hour focuses on outstanding government executives who are changing the way government does business. Our very special guest tonight is Bradley Buckles, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Welcome, Director Buckles.
Mr. Buckles: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Mr. Lawrence: Well, in this first segment let's find out more about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. As I recall, the agency can trace its history to the Revolutionary War and the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Perhaps you could tell us a little more about the history and bring us up to date.
Mr. Buckles: Well that’s right. Some people have also remarked that we were the Internal Revenue Service before there was an Internal Revenue Service. The very first taxes laid by the Federal government were taxes on alcohol. During a large portion of the early United States, excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco formed a major source of U.S. revenue. Income taxes, which, of course, are the major source of Federal Revenue, were a relatively late development during and after the Civil War.
Mr. Lawrence: You began your career at ATF over 25 years ago. Could you tell us about the various positions you've had during your career.
Mr. Buckles: Well, I've had a slightly different career for someone who would be the head of ATF, or the head of an agency of this sort. I entered the government in 1974, in a position of an attorney advisor in the office of chief counsel in our headquarters office and spent my entire career there until I was named the deputy director in 1996. In the chief counsel's office, I held a variety of positions of assistant to the chief counsel, assistant chief counsel for litigation. I was the deputy chief counsel for twelve years and then served as the chief counsel before becoming the deputy director. But, my entire career up until that time was on the legal side of ATF.
Mr. Lawrence: You are currently one of the highest ranking career officials in the Department of Treasury and I'm curious, could you tell us about your role as a career official in a very political town and very high profile agency?
Mr. Buckles: Well, it's what makes the job interesting. Let's put it that way. I'm a career employee and I love the fact that I do it. I've worked with Republicans and Democrats throughout my career, probably more Republicans than Democrats to this point in time, and our issues are controversial with both sides of the aisle.
In Congress, they don't necessarily fall along party lines when it comes to issues surrounding alcohol and tobacco and firearms. So, it's an interesting challenge to be able to work with those issues and everyone on them. It's why I believe the ATF's primary value is to be depended upon by the political leaders of either party as someone who tells it straight, deals with the issues fairly and frankly, and doesn't attempt to carry its own agenda onto the sensitive issues that follow these products.
Mr. Lawrence: Are there different management perspectives, based on where you are as a career official versus a political appointee -- that we expect different management styles, perhaps.
Mr. Buckles: Well, I don't know that it would be so much different management styles because there are political appointees who would be running agencies of ATF's size -- throughout the government. I think, as an executive, they probably would face the same challenges that I would face.
One thing that is different is that they would normally carry the responsibility of setting the administration's political agenda on different offices and programs that they were responsible for, whereas that is not our responsibility to set the political agenda. Our responsibility is to execute on the agenda set by the Congress and the administration.
Mr. Lawrence: A few minutes ago, when you described your career, you said you had spent some time as the deputy director. How did that prepare you to become the director?
Mr. Buckles: That was probably the most important time. I served as deputy director for four years. One of my principal roles as deputy was to chair of our strategic leadership team. That's almost like a board of directors, if you will, within the agency that we use to set our strategic plan and insure it's being implemented throughout the agency. That was the first direct management position that I was in at ATF and it was probably the most important in terms of setting me up for my job now as the director.
However, one of the advantages of working in the chief counsel's office and being in headquarters was that I had been part of the executive staff and strategic leadership team in various forms for probably about 15 years prior to becoming director. So, I have a good history on what we've done in the past, why we did things in the past, what worked, and what didn't work. The deputy director job then set me up where I was in the position of actually making the decisions about those as opposed to being in an advisory capacity.
Mr. Lawrence: What were the lessons you learned from actually having to make the decisions, as opposed to being an advisor?
Mr. Buckles: It's always easier to give the advice. I can tell you that. Even the transition from deputy to director… as deputy I was often in a position where I was advising and recommending to the director what kind of positions to take and I am now in a position where I don't make recommendations. I have to make the decisions and carry them out. It's a different mind frame that you must be into, but I've enjoyed it and it's new challenges that I've found very exciting.
Mr. Lawrence: One of the things I found interesting is that you bring a legal background to this position, rather than, I think, a more traditional law enforcement training. So, I'm curious how your legal background has helped you as director?
Mr. Buckles: As I've watched this city change and government agencies change over the years, everything you do in the management area is becoming more and more a legal issue. I'm sure it's the same thing in the private sectors where counsel are playing a much greater role in almost everything a corporation has to do because of the legal implications.
The same is true, and probably even more so, in the Federal government where personnel decisions, procurement decisions, the whole range of things that would normally be management issues, are all very heavily laden with legal requirements. Having that background and understanding the legal implications of different aspects of our work, I think, is something that helps me tremendously in dealing with and understanding the implications of the problems that we face as a bureau.
Mr. Lawrence: I've also heard it said that the study of law just makes an individual more rigorous about approaching problems as well.
Mr. Buckles: Well, I think that is probably true because of the way we learn things as lawyers. The way we learn to analyze and break things down -- test theories. It is a different way of thinking than you would quite often see in some traditional management approaches which can be somewhat more rigid in terms of the decision making process.
Mr. Lawrence: Speaking of management, a minute ago you talked about the strategic leadership team. Could you tell me a little bit more about this team and its role?
Mr. Buckles: We sat down five years ago to set out a strategic plan for ATF -- this was a task that we were set to by then Director John Magaw who had joined the ATF from Secret. When we sat down at that time, part of the structure we came up with to carry those plans out into the future was that we had to operate as a team on the executive level to see any of those plans through. If we simply came up with grand schemes and then everybody went back to their office and took care of their own business, the strategic plans would not be met. The day-to-day demands would continue to govern the decisions that were being made as opposed to the long-range goals.
By setting up a strategic leadership team, which was composed of all of the assistant directors who were required to be thinking beyond their particular business operation, everyone was required to be thinking of larger bureau issues and the implications of all of the decisions we were making. It forced us to make more strategic investment decisions about where we were going as an agency and, by using that larger body, make sure that everybody was pulling in the same direction and achieving those goals.
Mr. Lawrence: Well, great. It's time for a break. We'll be right back with more of the Business of Government Hour.
Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to the Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and tonight's conversation is with Bradley Buckles, director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Well, on this second segment, let's talk about ATF. I'm curious, what are some of the biggest changes you've seen at ATF since you've started?
Mr. Buckles: Well, it's hard to know where to start. When I arrived at ATF in 1974, it had only been an agency for two years. Prior to that, it had been a division in the Internal Revenue Service. As a two-year old agency, it was still searching for exactly what it was supposed to be, what its mission was. And it had a lot of people who had worked at ATF during days when moonshine liquor was the highest priority of the bureau, going back into the '50s, when that was a very big part of what ATF did. That transition, moving from a focus on alcohol issues to the firearms and the explosives area, and on top of that, being a bureau that was set adrift from the Internal Revenue Service, was quite a challenge to figure out how to pull all that together into a cohesive fashion.
What I saw over the years, I once used the analogy of a child growing up… that as part of an agency in trying to be able to know where we're going you have to have a sense of your past. There was so much of ATF that was new at the time. We were trying to learn what we were without really having a past to work from. Firearm laws were new. Explosive laws were new. It took quite a while for us to have a real sense of our mission and what we needed to be doing and for that to start to jell.
Again, using the analogy of a person, which I've used a couple times in different speeches, if you think about when we started the strategic planning mode, it would have been when the agency was about in its early '20s. Just like people, sometimes you have to get through those early times of groping, not sure of what you want to be and how you ought to get there. And by the time you're in your 20s is when you really start having a sense of what you want to be in life.
As an agency, that was a period of time when I think we were able to jell, to have a vision for what we wanted to be, a vision for how we were going to use the laws that we had under our jurisdiction and accomplish important public policy goals. So, that's kind of what I saw with ATF… a growing posture where we were making mistakes sometimes going in wrong directions, learning from those mistakes and going in another direction, until finally it all began to come together, I think, just five or six years ago.
Mr. Lawrence: I was going to ask about the management challenges the agency faced when its mission began to expand or get other emphasis in the firearms example you indicated?
Mr. Buckles: That was a difficult one. Now one of the things that have alcohol, tobacco, and firearms together is the similarity in the statutory structure of all of those laws. It's how it all ended up in the same place in the Internal Revenue Service, for example. Each of the products is heavily taxed. Each of the products has a regulatory scheme that calls for licensing. Each of them has various controls on them from a regulatory fashion that the license businesses need to comply with. They have a lot of criminal misuse issues surrounding them.
So, they all have those common themes and that’s how they ended up in the same agency. From a technical point of view, the types of tasks being carried out under those laws were quite similar. But the philosophy behind each one of those laws and the purposes were different. When I first came, there was a heavy emphasis on the alcohol work. Trying to translate that… having inspectors who had worked in alcohol plants suddenly go into firearm dealers. It’s the same kind of work, but it's a very different thing walking from a large alcohol plant or winery into a retail firearms business in terms of your sense of yourself.
That took a long time. It was a tough transition as I watched it happen. As a matter of fact, when I first came, we still had inspectors who were in distilled spirits plants with government locks on all of the warehouses. And distilled spirits plants couldn't even take the distilled spirits they produced unless a government storekeeper would come and unlock the warehouse, let them have a certain quantity of liquor that would be measured at the time -- and then it would all be locked up again under government lock.
So, these were people who were working in this field suddenly dealing with issues surrounding firearms and explosives. It was a management challenge to figure out how to get your work force retrained and reoriented towards new work. But all of that boiled down to, as much as anything, people issues in terms of training and development of people.
Mr. Lawrence: There are several Federal law enforcement agencies, as well as many state, that work closely with you. I wonder if you could talk about who they are and what those relationships are?
Mr. Buckles: Probably almost every Federal and state and local agency. ATF is in a position where the laws that we enforce… for example, the gun control act, the actual title of that statute was the State Firearms Assistance Statute. Because that's what it was designed to do, to put a Federal overlay on top of state laws that basically requires dealers and others to comply with state laws, we could deal with the interstate aspect of that. So, anytime you are dealing with that kind of law, everything we're doing is basically trying to assist state and local enforcement authorities. But when firearms are involved -- people rob banks with firearms -- drug dealers use firearms. Almost any other kind of crime, even at a Federal level, is quite often going to involve firearms or explosives. So that requires us to work closely with a variety of other federal agencies as well.
It's something that is part of ATF's culture. We have a saying that we have a history of partnerships that goes back even into the '50s, the old moonshine days. We've always had very close relationships with state and local agencies. That's basically part of our standard operating business, getting along and assisting others.
Mr. Lawrence: A lot of Federal agencies don't work well with other agencies. I'm wondering what the lessons learned are from your experience?
Mr. Buckles: I would leave that judgment as to whether some of them do or don't to others. But I will say this. I think that in law enforcement and in government in general, the old paradigm was that everybody had their responsibility and you could basically carry out your responsibilities and didn't need other people to do it.
But the world has become too complicated, too fast moving. Everything is done too quickly and people can't operate in that environment any more. So, the challenge of every law enforcement agency is to be able to get along and cooperate with others.
The only solution to that would be, for example, a national police force and nobody believes that's the right direction for this country to go. So as long as we believe for a lot of reasons there shouldn't be a national police force, then that makes it all the more incumbent upon Federal agencies to learn how to deal with each other and cooperate. I'm very optimistic about how things are working in that area.
Mr. Lawrence: It's time for a break. We'll be right back with more of the Business of Government Hour.
Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to the Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and tonight's conversation is with Bradley Buckles, director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. One of the things I was interested in is that ATF has published a customer service plan. I was curious if you could tell us about the plan and who your customers are.
Mr. Buckles: Sure. Maybe before I talk about that plan, I'll mention some of the backdrop on developing that. ATF has, I think, been in the forefront on trying to redesign, re-engineer the way we operate and operate more like a business. Traditionally, governments didn't have to operate like a business because, unlike a business, they didn't have competitors and they also were a creature of statute or law that fixed what their responsibilities were and how people had to deal with them.
We've seen over time that more and more of the government is being expected to act like a business, to prove its value every day. I think that an agency like ATF that has had a history of people challenging whether or not we should exist, how we do our business. That has, from a government agency point, been very difficult.
Not every agency has had to face what we have. But what we've tried to do is turn that challenge about our existence and our worth from a liability to an asset. That asset being that we're going to be able to prove our worth. So we are going down a path that's going to attempt to hold ourselves more accountable, to make ourselves accountable publicly, in order to prove our worth.
Customer service plans is just one of those elements. We have performance plans and goals that arise out of our strategic plan as well. But the customer service plans deal with both internal and external customers to get back to that question. Basically it's going to cover anyone that we have to do business with. That's going to be people that we license, people that pay taxes to us, people who have to file different kinds of applications and approvals that were required to make in almost all the industries that we regulate. So that's the major part.
In the law enforcement arena, we also have customers, customers of our firearms tracing capabilities, customers of other law enforcement services that we can provide the state and locals. With those, we're trying to set plans on each one to measure what it is the customer wants and whether or not we're delivering what the customer needs. Then, when we are asking for money and appropriations we can show to the Congress what it is we're doing with the money they gave us, who the customers are, and whether or not we're satisfying that need.
Mr. Lawrence: You also mentioned in the list of plans a performance measurement plan. Could you touch on that too, please?
Mr. Buckles: Sure. That's a requirement of the Federal government that every agency is supposed to set up some sort of performance plans that show how they are meeting their strategic goals. I like to think that we've been out front on that at ATF. We're going beyond simply performance measures of what we're doing and trying to show the actual outcome of what we're producing as well.
Again, it's very important. When we go to the Congress and are asking for money, we're almost challenging them. Look at what we do… look at how much money you're giving us to do it. We'll challenge you to go anywhere else and see that somebody else can do a better job at this or do it at a better value. That's the challenge that we want to be able to put forward. We're confident if we're measured against other people on those goals, people will readily see the value and worth of ATF.
Mr. Lawrence: A key factor in the success of any organization is its people. Could you tell me about the ATF personnel system and the career path of an ATF agent?
Mr. Buckles: Sure. I'll start with the second one, the career path of an ATF agent. Normally we're hiring as agents people at a fairly young age, generally straight out of school or, perhaps, with two or three years of law enforcement experience, quite often at the state and local level. One of the challenges we have on attracting people is that since we're a nationwide organization, we need a work force that's mobile.
So, we have to attract people who are willing not only to suffer the challenges, the threats, and the dangers of being law enforcement officers, but the disruption of being moved and what that does to one's family. And so, it's a difficult challenge that we have. Normally, an agent, if we have somebody who rises to the level of an assistant director, has probably moved at a minimum seven times in their career to go through progressively higher level positions.
They'll generally have to move when they are going to become a supervisor. They'll move again when they are going to become a manager. They'll move again when they are going to become an executive in the field. Somewhere in there they are going to have to have come in and out of headquarters a couple of times before they reach the higher level of operation within the bureau.
But throughout that, what I think gives us an advantage is that people drawn into the law enforcement profession, unlike others… there's a certain dedication to the profession that allows them to put up with some of those problems. They believe in the larger mission that they're trying to carry out as law enforcement officers. We wouldn't have the same success with people in other fields in ATF. If we were uprooting people who were personnel specialists or contract specialists, we wouldn't see that same willingness to go through the moves and suffer that kind of disruption.
We've got two or three work forces within ATF, agents are one major portion. They make up slightly less than half of the bureau's total population. We have inspectors that are not sworn law enforcement officers, but they inspect license premises and ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements. We have chemists, auditors. We have lawyers. As you can see, lawyers haven't been required to move, unlike agents. So, it's a very diverse work force that we deal with at ATF and the agents are just one segment and they tend to be what people see because they are our most public segment of the bureau.
Mr. Lawrence: Have you had problems recruiting?
Mr. Buckles: Not too much. It's surprising. It's a dangerous field to move into. There are a lot of law enforcement agencies that are trying to hire these days. But ATF's reputation within the law enforcement community seems to always give us a leg up on hiring. I know even other Federal agencies sometimes groan when they hear ATF's hiring because there are agents in other segments of the Federal government who have left other agencies and come to ATF.
Mr. Lawrence: What are the challenges of managing an organization that is nationwide, as I understand it, with something like 331 field offices. How do you manage a decentralized organization like that?
Mr. Buckles: That is one of the greatest challenges. Now, when it comes to law enforcement operations, the business is driven by what the problems are in each location. We can have law enforcement officials who are basically empowered to respond to the problems that are taking place in a given area.
It becomes more of a challenge when we talk about our regulatory responsibilities where we're licensing somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 businesses around the country. We have offices all over the country that are interacting with those businesses, advising them on how they are to conduct business to make sure they’re in compliance with the Federal law and regulations. It gets much more difficult to keep the consistency that you have to have in a regulatory environment which is different than you have to have in a law enforcement environment.
That is the greater challenge that we face with a decentralized organization and we try to carry that out through a whole variety of things. But I have to tell you, information technology, Internet, and similar communications systems are rapidly improving out ability to get information out and to maintain consistency without trying to direct every single decision out of headquarters.
Mr. Lawrence: How about the training of ATF employees. I'm just curious -- what kind of training is offered?
Mr. Buckles: One of our major directorates is an office of training and professional development. We consider that a major part of our business, both training our own employees and we do considerable training for state and local and other Federal officials as well. So, with that office, we are able to provide extensive training, for example, with agents and inspectors.
The main occupation series have very detailed, long term training programs that they have to go through before they can even be an ATF agent, and the same would be true of inspectors. The time period is not quite as long. But the office of training is also responsible for ongoing training for all of the other professions in the bureau. We do our own agent and inspector training, but when it comes to other forms of training, we outsource a lot of that -- rather than trying to reproduce it ourselves.
Mr. Lawrence: Well, it's time for a break. We'll be right back with more of the Business of Government Hour.
Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to the Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and tonight's conversation is with Bradley Buckles, director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
On this last segment, I'd like to look out to the future, but first start by looking back. ATF recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. As you look back, what are some of the milestones and achievements that stand out to you?
Mr. Buckles: Well, over the 25 years, I think that if you look at the enforcement of firearms laws, the collection of taxes, that ATF is an agency that has had tremendous amount of successes. Man for man, dollar for dollar, our tax collection is difficult to surpass.
We only have a couple of hundred people that are dedicated to the collection of approximately $13 billion in taxes. We do it very efficiently, very effectively. We've changed the system where in 1979, we still had inspectors in the plants keeping a proprietor's stock of liquor locked up behind a government lock to a system where we can now collect all of these taxes with a relatively small number of people.
Our goal, of course, is to collect the most taxes with the least amount of people and the least amount of grief on the part of the people who have to pay the taxes. We've been making great strides along those lines over the whole course of that 25 years in modernizing the collection system. In firearms, we've moved from a nation that basically had no firearms laws on a Federal level in 1968, to a system now where there are 103,000 Federal firearm licensees.
There are very controlled systems through which firearms are sold. We've implemented -- successfully implemented -- the Brady law, the Federal assault weapons statute, and a whole variety of laws over those years. We've also grown during those 25 years by receiving responsibility over the explosives industry through the Federal explosives laws. And the work that we've done in the area of bombings and arson, which flows from the explosives laws, has been a source of great pride with ATF.
Federal arson investigators from ATF were responsible for a lot of the work on the church arsons that were occurring a number of years ago, and we had a very high success rate in bringing those to conclusion. We now have a fire research laboratory that is being built out in Beltsville, Maryland. That's going to provide state of the art fire research for arson purposes… that we're working with the U.S. Fire Administration and others to have a world class facility. So, we've accomplished a lot over these 25 years from the days when we were pulled out of IRS and told to figure out what we were supposed to do to where we are today.
Mr. Lawrence: What are the key challenges for the future?
Mr. Buckles: Well, the key challenges that ATF faces are probably what every industry faces and that's technology and information. That is the direction that we need to be going where we can make the biggest impact, whether it's our revenue responsibilities, or consumer protection responsibilities, or our crime fighting responsibilities.
What we can do from a technology point of view of providing information and knowledge into the right hands is going to make a difference. Our technology and information area is allowing us to setup a national crime gun information center in West Virginia. It will allow people for the first time to really understand the movement and the trafficking of crime guns, where they come from, where they're going, in a very systematic way. Before, when we dealt with the problem, when a crime gun was used, we worried about trying to catch the person who committed the crime.
This will be a system that will allow us to take a more proactive approach to crime guns. We also have technology systems that are going to allow us to identify firearms on the basis of ballistics evidence. Today, you can -- if a firearm fires a round -- look at the projectile or the shell casing from that firearm… and it's like a fingerprint for a human being. People can look at those and identify it.
Technology is going to allow us, I'm sure, in the not too distant future, to be able to have that shell casing fingerprint associated with the serial number at the manufacturer level. We have a pilot project going on with one of the manufacturers right now to do just that. That means when a shell casing is recovered from a crime scene there's no suspect, there's no gun found, but if there's a shell casing left behind, we would be able to look at that shell casing and identify the firearm that it was fired from. And then from that, go back and trace the ownership record of that particular firearm.
Our ability to be able to provide this type of information to local law enforcement trying to solve a murder, is going to be a critical part of our future business in ATF. In the tax area, there are alcohol taxes and tobacco taxes collected -- not only at the Federal level, but also at every state level. And we're looking for ways in which, using technology, we can start blending those systems together to have a system that works more or less seamlessly to collect both of our taxes without causing duplicate efforts in 51 different locations.
Mr. Lawrence: What are the challenges for the employees? In one of your examples you spoke about it a minute ago, you described a system where employees were manually locking up stock. Now it sounds, from a description of the technology and the science brought to it, it's a very different employee now.
Mr. Buckles: That's right. The employee that we're going to be looking at is going to be much more information based as well. The service that they're going to be providing is not necessarily unlocking a lock or always helping physically investigate a crime scene, although that will be necessary. The tool that we will bring will be a greater level of expertise. I think that's what our value will be in the future. It’s not just the individual helping and doing the work but the expertise that's going to be behind every ATF agent and they'll be carrying with them.
Every ATF agent has a laptop computer today. That laptop computer is locked into virtually every database we have as a bureau. An agent arriving at a scene to help a state and local officer today, and even more so into the future, brings with him every piece of information that the bureau has with them in terms of helping solve that crime or deal with the situation they're looking at. The employee of the future is going to be the employee that has that laptop computer and brings with him the entire expertise of the bureau each time they show up.
Mr. Lawrence: Just to give our listeners a sense of perspective, the United States isn't the only government that faces challenges on alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. So, I'm curious, how do we fare compared to other nations dealing with similar problems?
Mr. Buckles: Well, as I explained, we have, I think, a very efficient system these days for collecting the alcohol taxes. If you -- just to digress for a second -- if you remember back in the '50s when there were the moonshiners, one of the reasons is that the tax on alcohol at that time was $10.50 a gallon on distilled alcohol.
If you think about what $10.50 was in 1951, compared to what it is today. Today the tax is only $13.50, so it hasn't gone up very much. It would be like if the tax was $50 a gallon or something today. So part of our system has been that the tax burden isn't there and we get much better compliance. But, we've been working with a few countries that are decades behind us when it comes to establishing these systems. We've worked with a number of the former eastern block countries, with Russia, Hungary and a number of other countries to help them try to set up a tax code that's never existed on alcohol and tobacco products.
The problems they're having with widespread diversion of the product, widespread illegal activity is reminiscent to what we would have faced many years ago, in some cases, reminiscent of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Mr. Lawrence: Well, I'm afraid we're out of time. So, I want to thank you, Director Buckles, for spending some time with us this evening. I've enjoyed our conversation very much.
Mr. Buckles: Thank you for having me.
Mr. Lawrence: This has been The Business of Government Hour, Conversations with Government Leaders. I'm Paul Lawrence, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the co-chair of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government. To learn more about the Endowment's programs and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness, visit us on the web at www.endowment.pwcglobal.com. See you next week.