Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Making Government More Efficient

Paul Light has another report out on how to make government more efficient.  IMHO it's a mixed bag.  One of Light's idee fixes is flattening the bureaucracy, cutting out all the deputy assistant under secretaries.  While that's valid, I'm reminded of Al Gore's similar efforts back in the 1990's.  He wanted to cut out layers of management, but what really happened was that "section chiefs" got called "team leaders" or some such nonsense.  That was a response to the reality that if you have 3 GS-13's supervised by a GS-14 who's in turn supervised by a GS-15, you can't simply fire the GS-14 and downgrade the GS-15.     I think many of Light's proposals suffer from a similar problem: they state a goal, but fall short on the nitty-gritty of how you reach it.

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