Accountability and Performance Weekly – November 7-13, 2020

Performance & Management

Bad Data: A Giant Challenge to Management, Budgeting and Policy

Katherine Barrett and Rich Greene, Government Finance Review (see page 76)

Governments face a number of challenges in developing strong management systems, including data that is flawed, inaccurate, and out-of-date.

To Improve Equity, Improve Government Capacity

Demetra Nightingale and Jed Herrmann, Government Executive

Agencies fail their moral and civic duty when they don’t collect and disclose vital information that could direct resources where needed.

Innovation

HHS launches ‘Design-A-Thon’ to better capture COVID diagnostic data

Sara Wilson, FedScoop

The Department of Health and Human Services is leading a virtual technology sprint to help automatically capture data from non-laboratory COVID-19 tests and report it to public health officials — an essential process for a data-driven pandemic response.

5 Ways to Improve Emergency Preparedness for Next Time

Matt Shipman, Nextgov

A permanent team that is focused solely on national preparation and ensuring that the relevant federal agencies are all on the same page should coordinate all five of these components.

Open Data and Analytics

GAO says AI oversight framework will help in continuously monitoring agencies

Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop

GAO’s forthcoming artificial intelligence oversight framework will help auditors work with inspectors general to continuously monitor executive agencies’ progress with the technology, says the agency’s first-ever chief data scientist.

A Data Center Refresh Boosts Capability for Virtualization

Adam Stone, FedTech

As aging federal data centers near their expiration dates, agencies are finding that they get far more than additional capability, storage and speed from an upgrade.

Pandemic Response and Oversight

Most States Aren’t Ready to Distribute the Leading COVID-19 Vaccine

Isaac Arnsdorf, Ryan Gabrielson, Caroline Chen; Government Executive

A review of state distribution plans reveals that officials don’t know how they’ll deal with the difficult storage and transport requirements of Pfizer’s vaccine, especially in the rural areas currently seeing a spike in infections.

Watchdog says Congress should strengthen PPP oversight before a new COVID relief bill

Tom Temin, Federal News Network

 Tim Stretton, from the Project on Government Oversight, argues before they take up a new pandemic relief bill, Congress really needs to put in some more robust mechanisms for transparency, and to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – October 24-November 6, 2020

Performance & Management

Why Merit Matters

Donald F. Kettl, Government Executive

Governance isn’t a solo act and it won’t work well if we don’t trust the experts who are giving us advice.

Open Data and Analytics

One year in, where does the Federal Data Strategy go from here?

Jory Heckman, Federal News Network

Nearly a year after the governmentwide Chief Data Officers Council held its first meeting, members of the council are looking to move agencies beyond “quick wins” and one-off solutions to build stronger data literacy from the top-down.

Industry pushes agencies on automating data governance under Federal Data Strategy

Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop

Industry wants the Federal Data Strategy’s 2021 Action Plan to require agencies to use technology that automates data governance.

CDOs want more data sharing in next Federal Data Strategy action plan

Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop

Chief data officers want to see more opportunities for data sharing and agency partnerships included in the Federal Data Strategy 2021 Action Plan expected in December.

CDC wants a cloud platform to centralize COVID-19 testing data

Billy Mitchell, FedScoop

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the nation’s medical response to detect and track COVID-19 cases, it’s looking for a cloud platform that can better centralize data reported by testing facilities

Customer Service

Leveraging emerging technologies to transform the citizen experience

Marc Manger, Alan P. Balutis, FCW

To effectively deliver a 21st century experience, agencies must prioritize modernizing digital call centers with these emerging technologies.

Pandemic Response

How Agencies Can Better Combat Fraud in Federal Programs

Erik Ekwurzel, Government Executive

CARES Act implementation problems highlight the need for more effective oversight in safeguarding taxpayer dollars.

How Government Agencies Can Use Tech to Safely Get Back to Their Workplaces

Will Wise, Nextgov

Now is the time to prioritize collaboration between the IT, physical security and human resources teams.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – September 19-October 23, 2020

Performance & Management

Coming Soon: A Short Window for Improving Federal Agencies’ Performance

Andrew Feldman & Kathy Stack, Government Executive

For career executives, the time between the presidential election and the inauguration is an opportunity to use evidence and data to advise incoming political appointees on what works and what doesn’t.

Innovation In Government: What the Transition Teams Should Understand

John Kamensky, Government Executive

To get things done in the executive branch, it helps to have a solid plan.

Pay for performance may not work as well for federal workforce

Tom Temin, Federal News Network

The idea of pay for performance has appeal in the federal workplace. The superior performers get rewarded for superior work, thereby helping keep the federal workforce strong and engaged. But is it true? A professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University, Bob Tobias joined to discuss.

Agencies are rethinking performance management in the pandemic era too

Nicole Ogrysko, Federal News Network

Since managers can no longer simply glance over their shoulders and check what their employees are looking at their computer screens, it means they must use specific outcomes as a benchmark of their workers’ performance.

Has the government done a good enough job updating itself?

Tom Temin, Federal Drive

Citizens deeply doubt whether government can deliver on basic promises, basic functions. A related problem is the seemingly diminishing sense of good governance – is the government continuously improving its own processes and competence? Now a book of essays by some well known good government voices offers a long list of ideas for improving things. 

Reforming Agencies to be Ready for the Future

Howard Risher, Government Executive

Former Comptroller General David Walker makes a strong case for transforming federal personnel systems to stress values of accountability, integrity and reliability.

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance

Data Coalition makes 10 data recommendations for next White House

Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop

The Data Coalition urged the next White House to improve government’s use of data to address challenges like the coronavirus pandemic, as the group released 10 recommendations for the transition Tuesday.

People Want Data Privacy but Don’t Always Know What They’re Getting

Gabriel Kaptchuk, Elissa M. Redmiles, and Rachel Cummings, NextGov

Differential privacy has recently emerged as a leading technique and is being rapidly adopted.

Solving the Army’s data talent problem

Lauren C. Williams, FCW

The Army needs to develop specific skill sets and retool or retrain existing workforce, said Mark Gorak, the director of people analytics for the Assistant Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Agencies Are Not Ready for the Data Tsunami, Report Indicates

Phil Goldstein, FedTech

A recent report from data analytics firm Splunk reveals the challenges public sector agencies face in managing the coming onslaught of data growth.

DOD releases long-awaited data strategy

Lauren C. Williams, FCW

The 14-page document released Oct. 8 outlines the basis for what will become the DOD’s data commandments to apply to “the entire Department of Defense, and its data, on whichever systems that information resides.”

What, exactly, is a U.S. CTO?

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, FedScoop

With the advent of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer position in 2009, the concept of digital technology got some prime real estate within the White House and, more broadly, the federal government. But what it means to be the CTO of a country like the United States wasn’t immediately clear.

Pandemic Response, Oversight, Continuity of Operations, and Telework

PRAC builds data transparency to create ‘citizen watchdogs’ for pandemic fraud

Jory Heckman, Federal News Network

To oversee about $3 trillion in spending, Robert Westbrooks, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s executive director, said the committee’s goal is to empower as many “citizen watchdogs” who can scrutinize the data and provide feedback to the committee — as well as provide leads on fraud, waste and abuse.

Trump Administration Develops Governmentwide Office Reopening Guidelines, With Contractor Help

Eric Katz, Government Executive

Masks, distancing and sensors to track employee movement are all part of GSA’s non-binding coronavirus recommendations.

Telework doesn’t suit every worker personality, environment

Tom Temin, Federal News Network

Teleworking has some serious financial, career and social challenges, according to Dr. Kati Peditto. She’s assistant professor of human factors in the department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and she joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more.

Customer Service

More County Governments Are Using Chatbots — Here’s How

Ben Miller, Government Technology

Survey data shows that most U.S. counties are either already using chatbots or plan to soon. The COVID-19 pandemic is a big reason why, but their flexibility means they’re also serving other purposes.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Center for Accountability and Performance (CAP) Presents its Annual Awards in a First-Ever Virtual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, July 23, at 2pm EDT (Detailed Award Information Below)

The Center for Accountability and Performance (CAP) Annual Awards for 2020:

THE HARRY HATRY DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE AWARD

This year’s Harry Hatry Award is presented to an individual whose outstanding teaching, education, training, and consultation in performance management has made a significant contribution to the practice of public administration.  The award winner must have spent the primary part of his/her career in public service.  This award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions on a sustained basis rather than a single accomplishment.

CAP is proud to present The 2020 Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Management Practice Award to Charlie PerusseNorth Carolina State Budget Director.

Mr. Perusse, in his various roles in state government during a 25-year career, has been a long-time champion of the use of performance information to inform decision-making and to ensure accountability for results.

Most recently, he was appointed to a second stint as State Budget Director in 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper.  Upon taking charge, he created a team to develop a strategy to advance the use of performance management practices in state agencies.  The team reviewed the practices of leading states such as Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia, and incorporated best practices into a new performance framework for the state.  They also partnered with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to craft legislative and administrative initiatives to implement these practices.

In 2018, the legislature clarified the budget office’s authority to implement a performance management framework, starting with a pilot initiative.  Mr. Perusse reorganized the budget office to reflect the new framework.  He also created the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Performance Management as a forum for senior level input on the implementation of the new performance system.  He led a cross-branch collaborative effort in support of this effort and as a consequence, the 2020-2021 state budget approved by the legislature included investments in building staff capacity to use performance information in program management as well as funding for evidence-based program evaluation.  Taken together, these initiatives are helping rate North Carolina as one of the top states in the use of performance information. Subsequently, he has been a mentor and advisor to peers in other states interested in implementing similar efforts.

Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the University of North Carolina (UNC) System for six years.  In his earlier work with the Budget Office, he served as State Budget Director for three years and Deputy Director for six years.  He also spent eight years in the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, serving three years as budget coordinator for the House of Representatives. 

Some of Mr. Perusse’s notable career accomplishments include – 

  • Championing North Carolina’s Common-Sense Government Initiative to promote fiscal transparency and data-driven decision making;
  • Authoring a substantial portion of UNC’s 2011 strategic plan; 
  • Balancing the state’s budget each year during the Great Recession; and 
  • Transitioning the state to a market and competency-based compensation program for employees. 

Mr. Perusse received a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from North Carolina State University.  

THE JOSEPH WHOLEY DISTINGUISHED SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

The Joseph Wholey Award is for outstanding scholarship on performance in public and nonprofit organizations.  The author(s) must provide a significant contribution to advancing knowledge in a scholarly journal about the development, implementation, use and impact of performance measurement.  Preference will be given to a scholarly work that is relevant to the broad public administration community and is of interest to both practitioners and academicians.

CAP is proud to announce that the 2020 Joseph Wholey Award will be presented to Professor David Ammons, not only recognizing his lifetime achievement and many contributions to the field of performance management, generally, but also for his recent contribution to the field in the form of a book entitled Performance Measurement for Managing Local Government:  Getting It Right. Irvine, CA:  Melvin & Leigh, 2020 — a very powerful and useful book that contains best practices and helpful hints for practitioners and students in this important field, which is increasingly based on data science and analytics.  

Dr. Ammons joined the School of Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1996, and served as director of the MPA program from 2001 to 2006.  He writes and teaches about performance measurement, benchmarking, and productivity improvement in local government.  His books on local government management include Municipal Benchmarks (M.E. Sharpe, 2012), Tools for Decision Making: A Practical Guide for Local Government (CQ Press, 2009), and Leading Performance Management in Local Government (ICMA, 2008).  His articles have appeared in Public Administration ReviewJournal of Public Administration Research and TheoryAmerican Review of Public AdministrationPublic Performance and Management ReviewState and Local Government Review, and other public affairs journals.  Previously, he served on the National Performance Management Advisory Commission, ASPA’s National Council, and the Executive Council of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).  He was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2006 and in 2014.  Professor Ammons earned a PhD from the University of Oklahoma.

Latest Work

Performance Measurement for Managing Local Government: Getting It Right. Irvine, CA: Melvin & Leigh, 2020.

Today, local governments routinely report performance measures to city councils, county commissions, and citizens. Many government officials want to do more with their measures.  They want to use them not just for reporting but also for management purposes-to improve operations and services. But the measures governments have now often are inadequate for this expanded role.  After teaching thousands of government practitioners about performance measurement, author David Ammons knows the questions these practitioners, as well as students of performance measurement, want answered.  This book delivers.

THE CAP ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD

This award, presented to an organization, recognizes outstanding applications of a systems approach to performance measurement that has resulted in a culture change, sustained improvements and demonstrated positive effects on government performance and accountability.  The award recognizes an organization, rather than a person that has yielded outstanding results on a sustained basis.  The organization may be selected from all levels of public service organizations, including local, state, or federal government, as well as from international and public service nonprofit organizations.  Preference will be given to an organization whose results have been measured and whose impact has been documented in the literature or at conferences.

CAP is proud to present the 2020 Organizational Leadership Award to the City of Asheville, North Carolina.

The City of Asheville has worked over the last near decade to build a unique data culture that drives performance in how the city articulates policies, responds to the urgent needs of residents and supports decision making.  Led by a multidisciplinary governance community with leadership from the city manager’s office, program offices and IT, the City of Asheville has made tremendous gains to make Asheville a growing hotspot for new residents, departure from city hall norms, and significant innovation. 

Here is just one example of how data and performance is driving change in the City of Asheville – 

A recent City of Asheville’s Disparity Study results showed that between 2012 and 2017, of the $118M in city contracts, only $12M or about 10% went to minority and women owned businesses.  Additionally, across 10 counties, the Study identified 308 willing/available/and ready minority owned businesses, a vast undercount and underutilization of the total minority owned small businesses.  The lack of equity in the contracting process has led to a strong sense of community distrust in the vendor marketplace process due to discrimination and minority businesses not being reached by services that could improve their competitiveness in the marketplace.  The City of Asheville, with the strong support of the City Manager, initiated a series of organizational management rebuilds that aim to not only break down over 30 years of problematic and unequitable contracting practices and reduce disparities, but also empower departments across the organization to use their data for effective decision-making.

Specifically, the City of Asheville has been able to – 

  • Redefine the scope of its 5-year initiative to reduce disparities in contracting with minority-owned businesses by setting tangible and measurable business development, economic mobility, and equity goals across the organization and within specific departments (i.e. Purchasing, Finance, Capital Projects, Data and Analytics, and others);
  • Develop a new workplan process to enable City of Asheville leadership to track performance bi-annually; 
  • Establish a data governance structure to oversee the management of more innovative data collection and data sharing systems that are being scaled across the organization; 
  • Develop the framing for a new internal business development and equity dashboard that can be used by all department directors to track performance in their business inclusion practices; and 
  • Train City of Asheville staff across multiple departments on effective community outreach and engagement practices, and drafted community engagement plans in coordination with the Mountain Business Equity Initiative.

THE CAP EMERGING LEADERS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

CAP has created a new recognition program to recognize up to five early- to mid-career professionals in the field of performance management at the federal, state, or local levels. This recognition will be presented at the CAP board meeting associated with the annual ASPA meeting.  Applications will be accepted until December 1st of the preceding year. 

CAP has a history of promoting the adoption of accountability and performance management systems in government.  Traditionally, CAP accomplished its goals through educational materials and awards for scholarship, organizational improvement, and individual leaders/contributors.  As performance management has spread, but still remains a developing field of practice, CAP sees an opportunity to recognize and encourage a new generation of practitioners through a CAP Emerging Leaders Award of Excellence program. 

Through recognition by CAP, an Emerging Leaders Award of Excellence will provide an early or mid- career boost to individuals who are actively implementing performance management systems, innovating new practices, and promoting the importance of performance and accountability within their governments and communities. 

As part of the recognitionEmerging Leader award recipients will be invited to (but not be required to) develop a case study, potentially in collaboration with a graduate student, about their government’s performance management practices to support CAP’s case study work.  In addition, they may be invited to develop CAP-sponsored panels at the annual ASPA meeting to highlight best and alternative practices from the field and help build the empirical base for additional analyses.  Each recipient will also receive a formal Award of Excellence plaque of recognition. 

Emerging Leaders can be self nominated or be nominated by others and will be chosen by a subcommittee of current CAP Board members.  There will be no more than five awardees per year, they should represent a variety of governments (local, state, and federal), and help promote racial and geographic diversity in the field.  Nominees should have approximately 5-10 years of experience within a government organization and shown leadership, innovation, and/or accomplishment.

The following individuals are recipients of the CAP 2020 Emerging Leaders Award of Excellence:

Adrienne Schomeker, New York City

        Adrienne is the Director of Civic Engagement and Strategy for the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, where she leads the NYC Open Data initiative’s civic engagement strategy. Prior to joining MODA, she worked at the Mayor’s Office of Technology & Innovation led by NYC’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer in 2015 as a founding team member. She has spent 8+ years leading strategic initiatives across sectors, starting her career in a leadership development program at a Fortune 500 company before moving into the NYC startup space, where she spent 3 years working at Catchafire, a technology-based social enterprise serving nonprofits and corporate social responsibility programs nationwide. Adrienne holds a degree in Public Policy and Economics from the University of Chicago. 

Carmen Moreno-Rivera, Chief of Performance Improvement at Louisville Metro Government

Carmen Moreno-Rivera joined Louisville Metro Government in 5November 2017 as the Senior Process Consultant in OPI2. Prior to this role, Carmen worked for fourteen years as an engineer for UPS in its Small Package, Aircraft Maintenance, Flight Operations, and Safety and Compliance business segments.

Progressive, solution-oriented engineering professional with 15 years of process improvement and project management experience. Demonstrated history of creating business value and leading organizational change using statistical analysis, risk mitigation, budget and resource management, and operational assessment and design.

Kate May, Chief Performance Officer, Rochester 

Kate May is the Chief Performance Officer for the City of Rochester, where she helps departments use their data to drive evidence-based decisions and increase operational efficiency. Prior to joining the Office of Innovation in July 2017, Kate worked as the City and County of Denver’s Senior Operational Data Scientist and leader of the Denver Data Lab, where she used lean process engineering and statistical modeling to improve how departments worked with their human and financial resources and taught classes in data analytics and visualization. Kate has a Masters Degree in Data and Policy Analysis from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a bachelors from the University of Rochester. 

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Accountability and Performance Weekly – June 6-July 17, 2020

Management
Building Trust in Government One Problem at a Time
Don Kettl and Anne Khademian, Government Executive
Restoring trust in government starts with getting government service right—one local problem at a time, one public administrator at a time.

Collaboration inside government during the COVID crisis
Steve Kelman, FCW
Steve Kelman reports on New Zealand’s all-hands approach to contain the coronavirus.

Updates Posted on President’s Management Agenda
FEDWeek
Updates to the President’s Management agenda have been posted on performance.gov for January-June, covering both agency priority goals and cross agency priority goals, and with additional information on coronavirus response efforts that arose during that period.

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance
A Federal Data Failure Is Making It Hard to Talk About COVID
Donald Kettl, Government Executive
Without a standard, trusted language of COVID data collection, it’s been hard to measure the disease, track its trend, and build effective policy.

Adopting a Data-Driven Culture Enhances Digital Transformation on the Path to a Post-COVID World
David Watts, NextGov
Building a data-driven culture isn’t easy, but it’s important.

Data-driven government should be bottom-up as much as top-down
Monica McEwen, Federal News Network
In the past few months, agencies have been truly tested as they work to keep missions moving  as they face the added challenges of implementing remote work policies and capabilities, become accustomed to more decentralized planning and decision making, and weigh the potential impacts the virus might have on their operations and workforce into the future.

CARES Act delivery hampered by old tech, bad data
Derek Johnson, FCW
Aspects of the federal government’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic were marred by outdated state technology software and a crushing volume of beneficiaries that overwhelmed many systems, according to a new report from GAO.

Evidence & Evaluation
We need evidence and data to move forward effectively
Robert Shea, Federal News Network
Federal agencies have been quietly building the foundation for expanding the collection and use of evidence to improve their performance. This includes appointing evidence officers, developing learning agendas and assessing agency evidence-building capacity. While some treated things like this as a compliance exercise in the past, a global pandemic underscores the fact that evidence and data have never been so critical to our ability to move forward effectively.

6 Ways the Next Administration Could Use Evidence-Based Policy to Advance Social Justice
Andrew Feldman, Government Executive
Using data and research to improve program outcomes may not make for a catchy campaign slogan, but it can go a long way toward reducing economic and racial disparities.

 

Posted in Uncategorized