Comprehensive List of Recommendations

Part I: Managing Government to Achieve National Objectives

Recommendations to Strengthen the Center of Government

1.     In the first few months, set cross-agency performance goals corresponding to the major policy and management improvement priorities of the new President, and use these  Cross-Agency Performance (CAP) goals to inform both substantive policies and management initiatives constituting the President’s management agenda.

2.     In the first year, work with agencies preparing new strategic plans that specify strategic objectives laying out in measurable terms the Administration’s policy priorities and the outcomes they plan to achieve in the coming four years.

3.     Use the cross-agency goals as a basis for conducting portfolio reviews when formulating the President’s budget.

4.     From the outset of the new Administration, relentlessly pursue a clearly defined Presidential management agenda focused on improved delivery.

5.     Strengthen Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by integrating budget and management functions and by focusing on policy design, budgeting, and implementation as a continuum.

6.     Integrate policy processes and management initiatives by strengthening the President’s Management Council and other integrative bodies and having them take ownership of the President’s management agenda.

7.     Engage Congress more effectively to help support and its oversight responsibilities, and work with it to streamline and integrate legislative initiatives to improve management functions

Recommendations to Bridge the Executive-Congressional Divide

1.     Establish Appropriate Status of the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) Director to ensure the Office’s effectiveness.

2.     Select an Experienced and Highly Respected Director of Legislative Affairs.

3.     Effectively manage OLA’s primary constituency, using a process that manages and coordinates the contact and information flow between Congress and senior presidential advisors.

4.     Strike a balance between time spent on Capitol Hill and attending high-level internal meetings and keep an obvious presence in each chamber of Congress.  

5.     Decide how to organize the OLA office in relationship to the Congress.

6.     Structure the OLA based on the strategic goals of the White House and building an explicit management structure for routine contact with congressional staff both individually and as an organization.

7.     Have the OLA Director help shape the hiring, firing of directors of legislative affairs office throughout the government.

Recommendations for Staffing the President’s Team

1.     Recruit those most qualified for the position and deflect requests for the appointment of candidates who do not have appropriate skills for the job.

2.     Begin recruitment efforts well in advance and streamline the appointments process.

3.     Have the President’s recruiters work cooperatively with cabinet secretaries, and have political appointees work cooperatively with career executives.

Recommendations for Workforce Management: Human Resource Management and Public Service Motivation

1.     Strengthen the link between strategic planning and human capital management.

2.     Analyze key workforce trends using data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and other sources.

3.     Solidify the talent pipeline for the federal Senior Executive Service and other positions.

4.     Focus on employee engagement.

5.     Continue efforts to streamline, expedite and improve the federal hiring process.   


Part II: Strengthening Policy Leadership and Follow Through

Recommendations to Increase Use of Strategic Foresight in Policy Planning and Management

1.     Charter a 100-Day government-wide stress test taskforce to identify five to 10 future challenges that could derail the new President’s key priorities.

2.     Systematically integrate foresight into policy development by:

·      Creating a White House-level capacity for strategic foresight to inform key policy decisions; and

·      Creating an expectation that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Deputy Director for Management would champion the creation and use of foresight capacity to inform policy, management, and implementation.

3.     Leverage existing interagency networks to help agencies develop and use foresight in decision-making.

Recommendations to Strengthen the Federal Budget Process

1.     Budget for major national goals by reviewing the relevant portfolio of spending, tax expenditures, regulations, and other policies. 

2.     Strengthen the congressional budget committees, making them leadership committees that take a stronger role in shaping budget priorities and directing the work of other committees. 

3.     Establish a multi-year budget framework and process with annual targets for budget savings and investment consistent with fiscal sustainability. 

4.     Budget for tax expenditures and mandatory programs by regularly reviewing them and including tax expenditures in revenue and spending totals.

5.     Revisit the use of budget concepts using a bipartisan process established by the President and Congress.

Recommendations to Increase Use of Evidence on and Accountability for Performance

1.     Push more aggressively for adoption of the current outcomes-focused performance improvement framework across government.

2.     Expand and enhance the collection, analysis, visualization, and dissemination of performance information to make it more useful to more people.

3.     Strengthen agency capacity and understanding of proven performance and evidence-based management practices.

4.     Develop, test, and adopt effective accountability mechanisms.

5.     Keep it simple to support use, communication, and continuous improvement of performance practices.

Recommendations to Improve Chances for Successful Implementation of the Administration’s Policy Initiatives

1.     Pilot the proposed approach to vetting major policy initiatives prior to launch, starting either during the transition or immediately after January 20, 2017.

2.     Conduct a foresight-risk assessment of the top future challenges to success of the Administration’s top priorities, and use the results of this assessment when vetting major policy initiatives.

3.     Routinely employ internal teams of experts to vet major policy initiatives prior to launch, and use the results of these assessments to adjust the details of the proposed policies and to identify resource and management requirements for their success.

Recommendations to Expand the Intelligent Use of Technology to Promote Innovation, Collaboration and Citizen Engagement

1.     Create a What Works Agency to serve as a new central hub for research and analysis of what works in government.

2.     Establish a fellowship in data ethics within the Office of the Chief Data Scientist at the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to promote the responsible use of big data in ways that improve lives and respect human rights and civil liberties.

3.     Revamp the Paperwork Reduction Act and create a citizen collaboration toolkit that supports agency efforts to tap the intelligence and expertise of the American people to improve how government works, and collaborate with universities and others to develop the best training.

4.     Bring citizen first responders to all American communities by helping cities and private service groups train more citizens in life-saving CPR skills and with the know-how and means to open their 911 call data.

5.     Build a 21st Century Civil Service matching the private sector in its ability to use new technology, direct agencies to hire a chief data scientist to make use of the agency’s data to improve how it works, and appoint a Chief People Officer for the Federal government responsible for ensuring broader diffusion of know-how across the federal government, between levels of government, and between government and the private sector.

6.     Overhaul how the government recruits and push to recruit top talent to help tackle the nation’s hardest problems by creating new ways for Americans to serve their country for two years or less, can be hired in one month or less, and that job descriptions include the problem to be tackled.

Recommendations to Strengthen Government Ethics and Integrity

1.     Develop and apply a model for training new high-level appointees with these elements: 

·      Overview of each organization’s code, the ASPA Code to raise awareness of scope of ethical principles, and another professional code if relevant to the professions in and/or the work of the organization.

·      Examination of ethical standards.  The presentation of each standard will include examination of cases and identification of behaviors that fall short of the standard, on the one hand, and that advance the standard, on the other.

·      A concluding assessment that identifies changes that could be made in organizational standards and practices to reinforce ethical behavior; and steps participants could take to display ethical leadership and promote individual responsibility throughout the organization.

2.     Follow up with activities that include assessing how recommended steps are carried out, a survey of ethical culture in the organization, and exploration of new training activities for groups of staff in the organization to address important ethical concerns.


Part III: Managing Across Boundaries to Achieve National Goals

Recommendations to Promote Effective Collaboration Across Boundaries

1.     Use the GPRA Modernization Act to promote collaboration.

2.     In the FY2018 budget, budget resolution, budget reconciliation act, appropriations bills, promote collaboration to help achieve the Administration’s highest priority goals.

3.     Establish approaches whereby multiple agencies or sectors contribute to a cause (in dollars, ideas, staffing, facilities) to improve the chances of success.

4.     Fully utilize the experience of civil servants to support collaboration.

5.     Ask OPM to build cross-unit collaboration into criteria for annual bonuses for all high-grade employees and should build cross-sector, cross-division, and cross-department collaboration into the qualification criteria (ECQs) for the Senior Executive Service (SES).

6.     Direct OMB to assign a pool of funds to provide resources to cross-agency collaborations on significant national issues involving three or more federal agencies or single federal agencies with multiple state, county, and local agencies.

7.     Ask GAO to more widely publicize its Action Tracker.

8.     Reinforce formal accountability systems (reporting and oversight) by instituting informal dynamics such as shared norms, trust, and facilitative behaviors.

9.     When dealing with large-scale spending efforts that span multiple states and counties, utilize lessons from the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB) to ensure effective collaboration.

10.  Utilize E-Enterprise as a more efficient method of environmental enforcement and leverage it to revitalize environmental performance partnership programs of the 1990s and 2000s.

11.  Develop a robust engagement strategy and new institutional capacity to work with intergovernmental and other partners.

12. Realize that if results count, management matters.

Recommendations to Support Effective Collaboration Across Federal Executive Agencies

1.     Create a group within the transition team to focus on cross-agency management and implementation.

2.     Appoint a White House chief operating officer to oversee the portfolio of mission-focused cross-agency priority initiatives.

3.     Leverage the existing ecosystem of cross-agency institutions to support cross-agency collaboration.

4.     Advance mission-focused outcomes by proactively coordinating cross-agency activities.

5.     Set ambitious enterprise level mission-support goals to drive efficiency, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Recommendations to Strengthen Intergovernmental Partnerships

1.     Consider Saying No to problems that do not require a federal solution – focus on national issues.

2.     Make stronger intergovernmental collaboration a priority by increasing state and local involvement in the policy making process, selecting key personnel who will support collaboration, and expanding the roles and responsibilities of intergovernmental staff.

3.     Recognize State and local governments as partners – not merely another constituency or silos for federal funding– facilitating their participation in the development of rules and regulations.

4.     Foster a continuing intergovernmental dialogue to find comprehensive solutions to critical problems.

5.     Strengthen and reorient the President’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and its departmental counterparts.

6.     Build and maintain an intergovernmental data base after comprehensive review of critical information needs, plan for collecting and disseminating relevant data on a timely basis, and establish a cross agency initiative to facilitate the collection and dissemination of timely research and steps needed to make meta data more readily available.

7.     Support accountability and transparency, exploring ways to better integrate cross-cutting state systems and program level performance measurement systems to better serve all three levels of government.

8.     Provide flexibility and encourage innovation by continuing and expanding federal efforts that allow states to test new policies and more effective and efficient delivery systems.

Recommendations to Strengthen Governmental-Nonprofit Sector Partnerships

1.     Create a New Government Office to Represent Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

2.     Expand Capacity-Building Support for Nonprofits.

3.     Increase Incentives for Charitable Giving.

4.     Examine the Changing Roles of the Government and Nonprofit Sectors.

Recommendations for Effective Use of Public-Private Partnerships

1.     Recognize the differences among forms of public-private interaction (voluntarism, contracting, and partnership) and the allocation of discretion that distinguishes them.

2.     Approach partnership as one governance option among many, and shun ideological biases either for or against.

3.     Appreciate that orchestrating a partnership involves different managerial approaches than controlling a contract.

4.     Analyze the capabilities and motives of partners to predict in what areas and to what degree discretion can be shared at acceptable risk.

5.     Accept that it is rarely possible to gain all the benefits of shared discretion with none of the risks.

6.     Celebrate the intrinsic value of widening the circle of people with experience and stakes in the enterprise of governance. The process of partnership can have benefits independent of the product.

7.     Recognize that partnerships proposed by the private sector (rather than initiated by government) are excellent opportunities to create public value but far from always.

8.     Concede that where these management imperatives cannot be met, it may be necessary to sacrifice the potential of partnerships in favor of less promising but less risky approaches.


Part IV: Sharpening the Tools of Government in Action

Recommendations to Strengthen Procurement Management and Improve Results

1.     Look for opportunities to provide pricing information, both inside the government and to the public, on commonly purchased commodity products and services.

2.     Use performance information for quarterly performance-improvement reviews on major contracts.

3.     Over a period of years, “pivot” from time and resources spent on pre-award activities into post-award contract management work, moving staff into post-award management and monitoring, improving training in post-award management, and establishing fora for sharing experiences and best practices across an agency by those involved in post-award management.

4.     Upgrade the role of the Contracting Officer’s Representatives.

5.     Aggressively seek opportunities to further streamline source selection activities.

6.     Expand forms of contracting that pay for success, including challenges/contests, payment per transaction (“pay by the drink”) contracts, share-in-savings contracting, and social impact bonds.

Recommendations for Using Grants in Aid to Best Leverage Innovation and Creativity in the Federal System

1.     Expand the use of existing public intervention models that are based on evidence of effectiveness, to stretch federal dollars for intergovernmental programs.

2.     Help states to build adequate capacity to further specified national goals by accurately measuring performance and thus building evidence to best target public efforts. 

3.     Understand and work around individual state incentives that impede federal goals. 

4.     Be prepared for setbacks and be flexible to address them.

Recommendations to Improve Federal Administrative Rule-Making

1.     Ensure coherent, consistent leadership of the administrative rulemaking process.  

2.     Ensure that priority setting for rulemaking is disciplined and rigorous at the department and agency levels. 

3.     Ensure high quality information on legal and policy issues, impact, and implementation is provided for the comprehensive rulemaking process.

4.     Strengthen outreach to and engagement of stakeholders in the rulemaking process.

Recommendations to Improve the Design and Oversight of Tax Expenditures

1.     Apply all performance planning and measurement requirements under the GPRAMA to tax expenditures.

2.     Integrate tax expenditure reviews in the federal budget process, featuring reviews of related tax and spending programs by OMB in executive budget formulation and in reviews directed by the budget committees in the congressional budget process.

3.     Restructure selected tax expenditure programs to resemble grant and loan programs, with annual limits on federal revenue losses and competitive awards to recipients by federal, state or local governments.

4.     Reclassify the accounting for tax expenditures to record them in the budget totals as spending outlays, with matching increase in revenues.  


Part V:  Increasing Government’s Capacity to Manage Complex Policy Issues

Recommendations to Better Balance Health Care Access, Quality and Cost

1.     Evaluate and build upon Payment-for-Performance initiatives.

2.     Prioritize implementation and evaluation of physicians’ systems.

3.     Prioritize learning from Federal waivers.

Recommendations to Improve Financing and Governance of Infrastructure Programs

1.     Encourage consumer-driven investment strategies by State and local leaders.

2.     Coordinate existing Federal legislative credit enhancement programs.

3.     Create a national fund to support consumer-driven investment strategies.

4.     Coordinate standards and policies with local investment programs.

5.     Change policies in budget scoring, procurement, Federal asset management and acquisition regulations.

6.     Redesign grant programs to encourage better pricing and preserve fixed assets.

Recommendations for Investing in Environmental Protection: Energy and Water

For the Energy Sector:

1.     Continue to implement the Clean Power Plan.

2.     Adopt policies that put a price on carbon.

3.     Create an infrastructure fund for clean energy investments

4.     Increase federal investment in basic science and technology research.

For the Water Sector:

5.     Adopt better water pricing policies.

6.     Expand existing mechanisms for infrastructure investment, such as the State Revolving Fund.

7.     Convene a national dialogue on water sector technology and infrastructure.

Recommendations for an Emergency Management and Homeland Security process that is Adaptable to Changing Threats and Emerging Ideas

1.     Renew the emphasis on mitigation.

2.     Provide more extensive training on the National Emergency Management System to local leaders.

3.     Promote an understanding of critical infrastructure interdependencies.

Recommendations to Strengthen Administration of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

1.     Reconsider parts of the Drug War based on new evidence about the efficacy of alternative drug control strategies.

2.     Improve police-community relations, drawing on best practices identified by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, including techniques for de-escalation and greater transparency.

Recommendations for Promoting Advancement in Science, Technology and Higher Education: Increasing Government’s Capacity to Manage Complex Policy Issues

1.     Enhance public understanding of science and technology.

2.     Identify ways that new technologies can provide fresh solutions to policy challenges and force changes in the way policies are carried out.

3.     Adjust old forms of governance to fit new forms of technology.

4.     Apply smart systems, in which the overall system is more intelligent than the parts that make it up, to support administrative systems characterized by absence of central control.

5.     Replace traditional direct government administration with government-created support mechanisms and incentives for private entrepreneurs to find technical solutions.

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