Politics and bureaucracy hinder program performance

Senior agency managers have little confidence in the ability of the federal government to design effective policy and carry it out successfully, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Bill Eggers, global director for Deloitte Research Public Sector, found that half of the respondents believe the government is less capable of executing large projects now than it was 10 years ago. Eggers, in conjunction with the National Academy of Public Administration, surveyed 160 federal Senior Executive Service executives and NAPA fellows on the ability of government to execute large projects.

Federal managers cited increased administrative and political constraints and the lack of effective political leadership, Eggers told the Excellence in Government conference July 15.

“There is a disconnect between the planners and implementers and too much or too little guidance,” Eggers said.

In a separate survey of 123 program managers, respondents said that creating a council of program managers and providing access to best practices would help them to be successful, said Selena Rezvani, assessment consultant at Management Concepts, which conducted the survey for the Council for Excellence in Government.

About one half of the responding managers reported they had no training in developing requirements, risk management, and budget and financial management.

“Managers want more support at the leadership level,” she said. “They said they are charged with doing more than they actually have authority to do.”

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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