Obama's Management Legacy
An ambitious effort to improve and elevate government is a case study in the power of bureaucracy to resist change.
By the end of 2012, the Obama administration rightly took credit for a remarkable achievement: It had reduced violent crime at four of the country’s most dangerous Indian reservations by 55 percent through painstaking manual data collection, analysis of when and where certain crimes occurred, an influx of law enforcement officers on the reservations, and modern community policing methods. The accomplishment was a jewel in the crown of a 2009 White House initiative that required federal agencies to identify and commit to meeting a limited number of goals with high value to the public. According to the administration’s fiscal 2011 budget: “The goals must have ambitious, but realistic, targets to achieve within 18 to 24 months without need for new resources or legislation, and well-defined, outcomes-based measures of progress.”
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