China’s finances and capital controls: wow

From Zero Hedge:

“Needless to say, a capital exodus of that pace and magnitude would suggest that something is very, very wrong with not only China’s economy, but its capital markets, and last but not least, its capital controls, which prohibit any substantial outbound capital flight (at least for ordinary people, the Politburo is clearly exempt from the regulations for the “common folk”).”

H/T Steve Lewis.

Participation and collaboration in public health policy

My paper with Amber Sinclair (UGA PhD), entitled “Effects of Participation and Collaboration on Perceived Effectiveness of Core Public Health Functions”, is in the August 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The abstract:

Objectives. We measured the perceived effectiveness of core public health services at the community level, and we assessed whether certain system factors were associated with perceived effectiveness.

Methods. We used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Local Public Health Systems, conducted in 1998 and 2006, to examine the effects of the contributions of health departments and the participation of other agencies to core functions on the perceived effectiveness of community delivery of core assessment, policy development, and assurance functions.

Results. Perceived effectiveness increased over time for all 3 core function areas (range = 41%–53% in 2006). Multivariable results showed that local health department contribution to effort was positively associated with perceived effectiveness of public health core functions. The significance of participation of individual types of agencies or organizations varied by core function areas, except for local government agencies and hospitals, which were significantly positively associated with all 3 core function areas.

Conclusions. We furthered our understanding of the significance of the contributions and participations of local health departments and of other individual agencies or organizations in the perceived effectiveness of delivery of core functions.

“Unleashing the power of data”

DJ Patil, the first-ever White House chief data scientist, said CDOs are filling in the missing middle piece between CIOs and CTOs.

“As that Venn diagram of those [CIO and CTO] spheres overlap, we’ve also realized, ‘Hey, we have this incredible opportunity’ as we’ve seen the rise of data science and the opportunity to actually do things. In that conversation, we said, ‘What would happen if we had a role where somebody is singularly, ruthlessly focused on making that their mission?’ So, like all great organizations, we came up with a mission statement. Our mission statement is to responsibly unleash the power of data for the benefit of the American public.”

From Federal News Radio.

New NAPA reports

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Chief Financial Officer Organizational Assessment
In the fall of 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) engaged LinkVisum Consulting Group (LinkVisum) and the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to develop a strategic framework to support HUD’s financial management transformation. The key objectives of this project were to: (1) conduct an organizational assessment of department-wide financial management to improve effectiveness and efficiency; (2) determine how financial management responsibilities should be organized across the Department following transition to a shared-service model; and (3) assist HUD in responding to financial governance issues identified in previous Inspector General reports. Click here to view the full report.

Evaluating Project Aim 2020: Preparing to Transform the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has experienced significant changes over the last five years. NRC developed Project Aim 2020 (Project Aim) to improve the agency’s planning and operational functions. Project Aim set out to identify key strategies and recommendations to transform the agency during the next five years to enhance the NRC’s ability to plan and execute its mission in a more effective, efficient, and agile manner. The NRC requested the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct an independent assessment of Project Aim. The Academy’s review of Project Aim consisted of two reports: (1) an evaluation of Project Aim processes; and (2) an assessment of the Project Aim final report. Click here to view the full report.

Achieving and Sustaining Transformation at the U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau has initiated organizational changes intended to improve its ability to provide quality data while enabling it to anticipate and readily adapt to future needs. The Census Bureau requested that the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) conduct an independent assessment and recommend practical actions needed to increase the likelihood that its transformation will be successful and sustained. Click here to view the full report.

Federal Leaders Digital Insight Study
The Federal Leaders Digital Insight Study, conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) in collaboration with ICF, is the inaugural report designed to survey Federal Leaders’ perspectives about the pace with which the government is adopting, applying, and leveraging technological advancements in service to its constituencies. The Academy has convened an expert Panel of its Fellows to guide the Academy/ICF study team’s design and implementation of the survey, study its results, and offer key findings and recommendations. The Federal Leaders Digital Insight Study addressed a number of broad topic areas. Click here to view the full report.

Independent Review of the Management Policies of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-76) mandated an independent assessment of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. The National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) was chosen to conduct this review that focused on the management and operations of the Civil Rights Division including policies, protocols, and practices related to enforcement actions and decision-making, hiring, and other human resource practices. To answer our charge, the Academy convened an expert Panel of six Fellows with broad federal, executive leadership, legal, and academic experience, as well as knowledge and experience in the Department of Justice and in human resource management. Click here to view the full report.

Source: in the mail.

Herbert Roback Scholarship

From NAPA:

The late Herbert Roback was a highly respected public servant. During his 34-year career, he encouraged talented and promising students to consider lifetime careers in the public service. To honor Mr. Roback, his family and friends established the Herbert Roback Scholarship Fund to perpetuate his work.

To fulfill this goal, the Academy annually awards one scholarship up to $7,500 to a graduate student currently enrolled, or admitted for enrollment, in a full-time master’s degree program in public administration, public and international affairs, and/or political science.

The scholarship fund is administered by the National Academy of Public Administration, which is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of which Herbert Roback was a distinguished Fellow.

The scholarship recipient is invited to the annual meeting of the National Academy of Public Administration, held each November. During the meeting, the recipient is formally recognized before the gathered Fellows and distinguished guests of the Academy.

The downside of high performance?

In Govexec:

The number of senior executives receiving the nation’s highest award for civil service has continued to shrink over the past few years — and so does the publicity from the White House touting the winners.

There’s a perception among some senior executives and the association representing them that the Obama White House has pressured federal agencies to avoid drawing attention to the annual winners of the Presidential Rank Awards — and the hefty bonuses they receive — because of the sensitive fiscal and political climate.

“There’s a concern that [the administration] might — this is my impression — that they would be in a position of having to defend why these people received such an enormous [amount] of money,” said Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, during a recent interview with Government Executive.

And that bonus?

Distinguished Rank honorees receive a monetary award equivalent to 35 percent of their annual basic pay, and Meritorious Rank recipients receive 20 percent of their rate of annual basic pay.

How to improve survey response rates

For the FEVS, at least:

1. Your voice is important. The FEVS asks for your opinion on a wide range of topics, such as training, job satisfaction, performance appraisals, work-life programs, and management. Agencies use this valuable information to improve their organizations.

2. Your responses are confidential. Individual FEVS responses cannot be linked back to you. No one — not even your supervisor — will know how you answered. The reason we insist on confidentiality is we need your candid and unfiltered feedback.

3. Your participation matters. The FEVS is sent to a sample of employees, so not every federal worker gets a survey every year. If you received one this year, your participation is important and will serve as a crucial voice for employees like you. If you’re not sure if you received an invitation, look for an email from OPM.

4. You will have an impact. Leaders across the government pay close attention to FEVS scores. Thanks to new tools from the Office of Personnel Management, including an online tool called, agency leaders can use the results in new and significant ways. With, they can slice and dice the data in ways that give them insights at every level of the agency, even individual offices.

The MPSA’s new Kenneth J. Meier Award

The Midwest Political Science Association has established a new annual award recognizing outstanding scholarship in politics, public administration, and public policy in honor of Kenneth J. Meier, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Project for Equity, Representation & Governance at Texas A&M University. The inaugural award will recognize the best paper in bureaucratic politics, public administration, or public policy presented at the 2015 MPSA conference and is scheduled to be presented at MPSA’s 74th annual conference in April 2016 at the Palmer House in Chicago.

From MPSA.

Production functions for OIGs

In 2013, inspectors general from 78 government offices processed a stunning 619,460 complaints that came in through their hotlines.

That’s 1,697 per day.

In the same year, IGs claimed 19,000 indictments or criminal investigations, “successful” prosecutions, and suspensions or debarments, according to the annual report by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).

Interestingly, in 1995, there were considerably fewer take-downs. CIGIE’s report for that year indicates there were 8,273 “successful” prosecutions, debarments, exclusions and suspensions of people or firms doing business with the federal government.