Saying “Thank You” Matters

This year’s awards recognize 225 individuals and/or teams that improved mission results, customer service or demonstrated accountable stewardship. Six were highlighted for the President’s Award. For example, one team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was recognized for fixing an instrument failure on a newly launched, $1 billion weather satellite – from a distance of 22,300 miles!  Absent their ingenuity, it would have been a total loss.

Weekly Roundup: September 21-25, 2020

Bend or Build the Bureaucracy? Government Executive offers two feature stories where its reporters: “explore what Trump’s first term tells us about how he would govern in a second term, and what Joe Biden’s deep experience in Washington tells us about how he would lead the executive branch.”

Weekly Roundup: September 14-18, 2020

Six More Months. Government Executive reports: “A majority of federal employees currently working from home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic do not expect to return to the office any time soon, according to a new survey, with 60% saying they expect to remain in their current posture for at least another six months.”

Evolution of Federal Financial Management Reforms

For 22 of the 24 largest federal agencies, they’ve achieved that status. Two agencies remain in financial statement purgatory – the Departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development. Until they can meet muster with their auditors, the governmentwide financial statement will remain incomplete, as well.

The requirement to produce agency and governmentwide financial statements, and have them audited, stems from the early 1990s. At that time, no one had a clue how hard it would be to complete a “clean” or “unqualified” audit opinion.


Part 8 – Distance Work: A Three Generation Perspective

[Note: This column also appears in Washington Technology. It is the eighth in a series on how the COVID-19 crisis has changed how government works. Sheri Fields and Michaela Drust, IBM, contributed as co-authors of this column.]

Weekly Roundup: September 7 - 11, 2020

Frictionless Data-Mashing. NextGov reports: “The IRS is using its relatively new, quickturn procurement vehicle—Pilot IRS—to support a governmentwide data collection effort in support of fixing pain points in the government’s acquisition process. . . .

Weekly Roundup: August 31- September 4, 2020

Heal Thyself! Government Executive reports: “The Partnership for Public Service this week said that federal agencies don’t have to wait for legislation or new regulations from the Office of Personnel Management to implement improvements to how they attract and hire talent. . . .

Part 7: Six Challenges Managers of Remote Teams Must Master

[Note: This column also appears in Washington Technology. It is the seventh in a series on how the COVID-19 crisis has changed how government works. Michaela Drust, IBM, co-authored this column.]

Early in the pandemic, Congress appropriated $46 billion to agencies to support technology upgrades for cloud and telework capabilities. However, the challenges facing federal agency transitions to a distance work environment may not be technology driven.

A Public-Private Affair - Competitive Sourcing

Use of market-based policy tools and incentives was seen as a predisposition or mind-set as to how managers would approach public management issues. It is an assumption or policy preference that asks why the traditional ways should be used to deliver a service rather than why a market-based approach should be used. Rather than an ideology, it could be be seen as a starting place for problem solving.

The Evolution of the Use of Collaborative Networks in Government

And the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to bear out his observation.

Over the years, he has observed that many challenges—such as responding to disasters, organizing the delivery of services to disabled individuals, and orchestrating a response to climate change—have no single organization in charge. As a result, the traditional bureaucratic institutions defined by hierarchical agencies and programs that were so successful in the past are no longer adequate for challenges today that span across organizational boundaries.



Emeritus Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government

Mr. Kamensky is an Emeritus Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and was an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas.