Federal Manager's Daily Report

The next Presidential administration should focus on leadership both of political appointees and career officials to achieve its goals and more effectively run the government, a panel of experts has said.

In a report on a roundtable co-sponsored with the Partnership for Public Service, the IBM Center for the Business of Government said that “investing time and resources in talent management has proven over time to improve outcomes from a mission, managerial, political and economic perspective . . . In the public sector, leadership talent includes a broad array of executives whose collaboration – or lack thereof – sets the tone for agency and program success or failure.

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“These executives include political appointees and Senior Executive Service-level career officials in program and functional (human resources, information technology, finance, acquisition, etc.) areas, who guide civil servants and contractors and connect with state and local government, Congress, and even the Judiciary to deliver on agency missions.”

It said the administration has laid some building blocks by creating the White House Advisory Group on SES Reform that is working on recommendations to improve recruitment, development and retention of senior career leaders, as well as the White House Leadership Development Program, which will provide rotational and other assignments geared to developing leadership competencies and working across agency lines on problems.

However, it said, steps are needed to increase clarity of expectations and accountability of SES leaders and make their training and development an ongoing priority, as well as to improve cooperation between the SES and political appointees.