Jul 13

The First-Ever Inventory of Federal Government Programs

It seems strange but there was no central inventory of Federal government programs - until now. Thanks to the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, over 1,600 programs have been identified.  The first hurdle was in determining what was a government program. It is actually more difficult than it sounds as this article demonstrates.

This is how the Office of Management and Budget defined a Federal government program:  "organized set of activities directed toward a common purpose or goal that an agency undertakes or proposes to carry out its responsibilities."  Once the definition was established, each agency responded with a list of programs that included a title, description, and link to the strategic goals and objectives.  This is going to be a great resource for the new theory of government because it may be possible to deconstruct the programs into their corresponding social technologies, physical technologies, and their business plans. Thus, I can better understand the evolution, effectiveness, and efficiencies of various programs.

Nov 12

Shaping the New Theory of Government

I've finished reposting all the relevant GovLoop postings that give the outlines of the new theory. Now, begins the hard part of shaping the thoughts into a coherent theory.  I believe the first place to start is the fitness landscape of government.

If we start with the premise that government agencies should be effective and efficient, we have the x-axis and y-axis for the landscape. The z-axis is composed of the Constitutional and legal constraints on the activities of the agencies. Thus, when designing an agency, we can create business plans that are composed of physical technologies and social technologies. We place the different business plans on the fitness landscape and then see how high the plans climb on the landscape (that is, how well each plan optimizes efficiency, effectiveness, and following legal constraints).

The next step, is to find how dynamic the fitness landscape is and how well the business plans adapt to the changing landscape. The next series of postings will explore this argument in detail so that we can derive some design principles for government agencies.