Can Transparency Be Legislated?

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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 to see the interactions of your nearest work neighbor. In some ways, your neighbor’s actions are transparent -- you can see her every move. However, you are still missing a key component -- context. Why is she talking to those people? Why is she visiting that website? You can certainly use contextual cues to make an educated guess, but your guess and others’ guesses would probably not mesh completely. Read More


World War G: How to Cure Zombie Government Executives

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The below article, written by COE’s Dr. Paul Eder and Ascendant Group’s Raoul Davis, was originally published on innovategov.org in September 2013. The piece warns of the dangers of “zombie” government executives, and how to rescue and rehabilitate these unmotivated, frustrated or poorly trained federal workers.

Zombie Leaders-WEB

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