By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

The Lectern: "Entrepreneurial Bureaucracy" and Robert O'Harrow blog

I'm getting into this blog thing. Chris Dorobek sent me an email with a weblink to a blog post by Robert O'Harrow (the Washington Post journalist) called "Entrepreneurial Government." O'Harrow's post concludes: "One cosmic question worth asking is: If the GSA's goal is to keep 'clients' in other agencies happy, and that by definition means making procurement fast and easy, where's the incentive to watch out for taxpayer interests?" I have posted the following reply: "Please consider the suggestion that agency officials are themselves working to protect taxpayers by delivering public missions, and doing so in an effective and economical manner. If public missions are important, do we want it to be slow and hard (the opposite of fast and easy) to accomplish them? If you were working on an important story, would you like a system where you were told you needed to wait four months to get, say, a tape recorder you needed to interview people? And wouldn't you consider it insulting and demeaning if people thought so little of you and the importance of your work that it was irrelevant how long you needed to wait to get what you needed to do your job?" But, of course, he's an important Post journalist, and civil servants are merely -- civil servants.

Posted by Steve Kelman on Sep 17, 2007 at 12:08 PM


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