Earlier this month, in a May 6 column, I provided a framework for the President’s Management Agenda (WFP 46) for the Biden-Harris Administration as we awaited the full fiscal year budget proposal. 2022, which was published today.
Although the so-called “thin budget” published in April outlined plans for the discretionary part of next year’s budget, it did not include a number of specifics, including the volume of Analytical Perspectives in which they would normally find themselves. policy initiatives to include a chapter. at the service of the citizens, the rationalization of the government, the modernization of technology, etc., that is to say, what we have come to call the management agenda of the president.
Without ceasing to be discouraged, I continued to follow the speeches, the policy documents, the campaign platform, the testimony of the confirmation hearings, as well as what was proposed for funding in the budget summary. At that time I proposed what I thought would be several main principles of the Biden WFP:
- Ongoing initiatives found in previous Administration reform programs: procurement reform (with a focus on agility), performance measurement, financial management, shared services, customer satisfaction and citizen services;
- “Management” issues mentioned in the transmission letter from the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budgets of April 9, 2021, to include “Made in America” and “green” initiatives such as clean energy technologies , opportunities for small and minority businesses, civil rights and diversity, and strengthening federal cybersecurity;
- Innovation: to include key emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence;
- Modernization of technology to support agencies in modernizing, strengthening and security of old information systems. This was reflected not only in additional dollars for the Government-wide Technology Modernization Fund, but also in specific efforts in Veterans Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration;
- Human capital, hoping for new initiatives as well as efforts to undo various actions of the Trump Administration; i
- Advancing a vision for a 21st century government focused on improving results through data and evidence, restoring confidence, re-imagining service delivery, evaluating programs, and recruiting and retaining new talent with technical skills in technology and emerging areas.
As the weeks went by, I found reasons to trust and reasons to worry. In recent days, the new federal CIO Claire Martorana has been on the circuit and presented a technology agenda that fits very well with the framework I have suggested. Its ambitious agenda for its office and the IOC Federal Council includes innovation, technological modernization, cybersecurity, citizen services, interoperability and collaboration tools, an updated Federal Data Strategy, and telecommuting. Even more significantly, he may have talked about overcoming resistance to change, noting that innovating involves taking risks and that means tolerating failure and looking at long-term reforms and short-term successes.
But the administration’s management team still has a number of key functions open. The most prominent is the director of OMB, but there are also vacancies such key positions in this agency as chief financial officer, head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, not to mention the director of the Office of Personnel Management, the administrator of the General Services Administration and various heads of operations of the agencies. At the current rate, we may be well into the fall before we have the full range of government-installed leadership leaders.
The full budget was published today, May 28, quite late even for a new administration, but it is understandable given the controversy over the election results and the delay in the implementation of the transition teams.
The Analytical Perspectives volume, where a WFP is typically located, includes a chapter on “Management,” which is largely devoted to strengthening and rebuilding the workforce and human resources, such as trends, wages, and profits.
It also includes a chapter on “Information Technology and Cybersecurity.” This section presents a little more detail on the initiatives announced above and a little more detail on the allocation of funding to individual civilian agencies for IT (a breakdown will appear for the Department of Defense separately), as well as the proposed budget. for the United States Digital Service.
I found it significant that in the main 72-page budget document, along with a section on spending on The Pandemic and the Economy and a long-awaited long chapter on the Biden Building Back Better initiative, there was a separate six-page section entitled Delivery of results for all Americans through equitable, effective and accountable government. Management does matter and it does very well.
The inclusion in this key volume reflects the fact that the administration “recommends good governance” as essential to “promoting public confidence in government”. Mentioned in passing is the phrase “as WFP takes shape,” which I read to wait longer as other officials are nominated and confirmed.
The acquisition also makes a nod here, with a commitment to create a “modern and diverse federal procurement system,” which joins the nearly 200 studies and procurement reform commissions that have been conducted. carried out over the last 30 years to do this. The message about the president’s budget, which opens the broadcast, ends with this: “The budget … will prove to the American people … that their government is capable of delivering them again.”
Overall, the Biden Management Agenda creates the “firmness in administration,” as I mentioned earlier, that is essential to producing change and management reform in a Fortune One company, our huge federal government. It highlights the elements that are driving change in the private sector: technology, innovation, diversity and evidence (TIDE).
Now the White House needs to get a full team on the field to run against that set of goals. Going “big” with politics, going “big” with spending, “going“ big ”with speeches and promises, is good and inspiring.But managing, executing and fulfilling this political agenda will be key for both political success as per how history judges this presidency.
So how did I do that? I am known for my modesty and discreet excellence, so I cannot confess to being a Carnac the Magnificent of 2021 (NOTE: Children under 55, please, Google Johnny Carson), the great seer, fortune teller and sage . But it would give me a “B.” solid And for those who may differ, I tell them “let the bird of paradise come out through the nose.”