Archive for December 5th, 2008

Performance Advice for Obama Administration

December 5, 2008

The Government Performance Coalition – a group of organizations committed to the improvement of government performance – offers our collective judgment on the key actions the Administration and Members of Congress can take together to make government work more effectively for the American public. 


Coalition coordinator, Jonathan Breul, says: “Performance must be paramount if governing for excellence is to be attained and replicated.  Good policies and sound investments will fall short of the mark if anything less than exceptional performance is the predominate mode of operation.”


So, what should the new Administration and Congress do to improve government performance?  Following are the Coalition’s recommended priorities:


1.  Lead by setting standards and demanding accountability with a performance-based framework that supports both the Executive and Legislative Branches.


·         Link agency budgets with annual performance plans and outcome measures that focus on visible, critical priorities (some of which should be cross-cutting).

·         Apply an objective system to evaluate program and individual success. 

·         Issue short reports that give citizens a better understanding of their government and inform a more meaningful debate about fiscal priorities, performance results and future challenges.


2.  Strengthen organizational capacity to serve and defend the American public.


·         Strategically recruit, develop, and retain a highly engaged and productive federal workforce comprised of a proper blend of experienced careerists and new talent.

·         Assess the use of contractors and determine the correct balance of outsourced versus government-performed work within each agency.

·         Encourage interagency and intergovernmental assignments to promote improved learning, communication, collaboration, and best practices application.


3.  Mandate the use of innovation and technology to revolutionize government business models in order to achieve citizen satisfaction.


·         Expand the use of e-government to facilitate improved 24/7 access to departments and agencies.

·         Empower agency leadership to engender a collaborative, transparent, and accountable learning culture.  

·         Promote the strategic use of technology to re-engineer work processes and eliminate inefficiencies with a goal of improved service delivery and trust in government.


The “Priorities” are the result of a year-long effort by representatives from the Coalition organizations to develop a dialogue on performance, budget, and management issues.  Sub-committees of subject matter experts from Coalition organizations hosted forums, conducted field studies, and hosted a “Transitions in Governance” website and blog management that issues that need new attention, and refine past efforts and highlight related governance policies that affect performance.

Members of the Coalition include, among others, American Society for Public Administration , Association of Government Accountants, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, CNA Corporation, Coalition for Effective Change, Council for Excellence in Government, George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, Grant Thornton, IBM Center for The Business of Government , International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American University Institute for the Study of Policy Implementation, University of Pennsylvania Fox Leadership Center, Management Concepts, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, National Academy of Public Administration, Partnership for Public Service, Performance Institute and Senior Executives Association.


The Coalition’s perspective is non-political and non-partisan.  Representatives from organizations in the Coalition provided input into the priorities, although the views presented may not represent the entire member of each organization.