Friday, May 31, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of May 27, 2012
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of May 27, 2012

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

The future is not what you think it is.


Dan Chenok


John Kamensky

  • OMB FY 2015 Budget Guidance Is Out.  OMB has sent planning guidance to agencies asking for both a 5 percent and a 10 percent cut. It says to not use sequester-like across-the-board cuts but: “To help meet these targets, all agencies should look for ways to reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication, and increase effectiveness. To that end, your submission should include a separate section that identifies your agency's recommendations in this area. . . “
  • GAO on Duplication and Overlap.  The Senate Government Performance Task Force held its first hearing of the year last week, on effective strategies to reorganize government.  Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified on GAO’s work to catalog duplicative and overlapping federal programs, and the progress being made to reduce them.
  • New Good Government Group AnnouncedBloomberg News reports that former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker has formed a new good government group, The Volcker Alliance, which will:  “sponsor research on government performance, make recommendations for policy development and implementation, and provide a forum for discussion of ideas and tools to strengthen policy execution at all levels of government.” Former OMB official Shelley Metzenbaum will head the effort, according to Government Executive.
  • GAO on Climate Change.  Should the federal government be investing in state and local infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and wastewater systems that are likely to be destroyed by climate changing events like floods or rising oceans?  A new GAO report concludes: “the federal government plays a critical role in producing the information needed to facilitate more informed local infrastructure adaptation decisions.”  It recommended designating a federal focal point to coordinate such information.
  • A Useful History of PerformanceStat.  A Washington Monthly article, provocatively titled “Should Martin O’Malley Be President?” is actually a very good overview of the evolution of the various “performance-stat” initiatives, from CompStat to CitiStat to StateStat, and beyond.


Michael Keegan

OMB wants 10 percent cut in 2015 budget requests 
Agency discretionary budgets are on a path to drop another 10 percent in fiscal 2015. The Office of Management and Budget's 2015 budget guidance released Wednesday requires cuts in every agency's lowest priority programs to equal 10 percent. To find those areas ripe for reductions, OMB told agencies to reduce fragmentation and overlapping programs. Departments should recommend areas that should be reduced based, in part, on the Government Accountability Office's annual report on duplication. "We recognize that agencies will identify the most effective way to implement this request," wrote OMB director Sylvia Burwell in a memo to agency leaders. "Your budget submission will provide the President with the options needed to make the hard choices necessary to adhere to the Budget Control Act's discretionary funding levels, invest in priority areas, and focus on programs that work." Burwell said agencies should include a separate section in the request that identifies their recommended cuts or consolidations. 

Former OMB performance guru Metzenbaum lands new job 
Shelly Metzenbaum, the former performance management guru in the Obama administration, accepted a new position to run the Volcker Alliance. Metzenbaum resigned earlier this month after serving as the director of performance and personnel management at the Office of Management and Budget since September 2009. As the foundation's president, Metzenbaum will oversee the Alliance's efforts to improve the effectiveness of government at all levels. 

Navy targets billions more in IT savings 
Two years ago, the Navy set out to reduce its information technology spending by 25 percent, mostly through efficiencies. Officials say they've been successful, but the overall budget picture hasn't gotten any rosier since then. So the service will turn to IT for still more reductions. According to Terry Halvorsen, the Navy Department's chief information officer, the hunt for that initial round of IT savings is not just on track, the department is ahead of schedule in taking about $2 billion out of the roughly $8 billion it spends on information technology each year. 

Acting IRS Chief Hires GAO Official to New Risk Management Position 
In one of his first moves as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Danny Werfel has named a new chief risk officer, the Associated Press reported. David Fisher, the chief administrative officer at the Government Accountability Office, will serve Werfel as senior adviser.Fisher will evaluate the agency operations "to mitigate risks and improve internal controls necessary for restoring the integrity of IRS operations," Werfel said in a statement to staff.“His ability to master competing priorities empowers him to effectively lead organizations and address the ever-changing objectives necessary to attain organizational goals,” Werfel said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “His role in the government financial community, bolstered by his significant achievements and his willingness to ensure the organization’s goals are served, has prepared him well to assume this position.”



The Business of Government Radio Show: Dr. Dorothy Robyn

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations.

Dr. Dorothy Robyn is the comissioner of the Public Buildings Service, one of the largest and most diversified public real estate organizations in the world.  The Public Buildings Service is responsible for providing superior workplaces for federal customer agencies at good value for the American taxpayer.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED

If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at and by searching our audio archives.