The use of dashboards in federal government agencies
increased dramatically following the Obama administration’s
Open Government Initiative issued in January 2009, which
espoused the principles of transparency, participation, and
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARA) provided a one-time boost in spending to state and
local governments of more than $275 billion which was
distributed via 65 different federal programs (both new
programs and some already in existence). The funds were
intended to help bridge the immediate fiscal problems
created by the Great Recession.
The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 requires each federal
agency to identify a set of priority goals, designate someone
to be the goal leader for each goal, review progress toward
these goals, and publicly report at least quarterly on that
progress. Such a process represents a more focused review
(concentrating on the priority goals) than the broader performance
reviews described here.
In this issue of The Business of Government magazine, we survey the intersection where
leadership, complex challenges, and the need for transformation meet. Whether it’s in the
response to the global financial crisis, the national deficit, or the myriad of other pressing
issues facing us, uncertainty seems boundless while constraints on resources are very real.
In another installment of the Leaders Speak Series, I bring you a sampling of current government leaders and their advice on leadership and public service. What makes an effective leader? Why pursue a career in public service? Our guests offer their extended reflections on such questions.