Can Transparency Be Legislated?

In May 2014, President Obama signed the DATA Act into law. The crux of the law is simple: Make financial data across government available in a standardized format. As a result, stakeholders will speak a common financial data language. This is an important step toward government consistency, but not necessarily a culturally transformative event. Let’s step back for a second and think about what “transparency” truly means. Imagine a clear plastic screen replaces the wall between your office and your co-worker’s office. Day in and day out, you are able Read More

Dear Mr. Chairman: An open letter to the new Chairmen of the government oversight committees in both Houses

The midterm elections clearly demonstrated that the American people are longing for Congress to do something different. The new Congress needs to begin addressing big issues that past Congresses have failed to do. Reforms in social insurance programs, tax law, civil service, immigration, and many others are critical for the American people and the health of our nation. These issues need to be addressed by Congress as a whole, but the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform in the House and Homeland Security and Government Affairs in the Senate need Read More

Complexity Reduction—Making Government Simple

Listen to Steve Goodrich discuss Complexity Reduction in an ‘In Depth’ interview with Francis Rose on Federal News Radio.   As budget reductions take hold and the federal workforce is reduced, the government will inevitably focus on process and other improvements in order to achieve more with less. One area of inefficiency agencies seem to overlook is the unnecessary complexity of daily activity embedded in management practices. The work and approval process in many agencies has become so muddled and complex that a simple hiring decision, procurement action, budget approval, or external Read More