During the next few months, federal agencies will report on the 25
Quicksilver initiatives, accounting for how well they succeeded
against well-specified goals. The newly revamped business case
should reduce the amount of political maneuvering that has waylaid
progress in the past and cut the time required to get things done. As we
chronicle the dramatic pace of change within the federal sector, we will see
what effect the accountability challenge has had.
Of course, you can't discuss these projects thoroughly without interviewing
the people leading them. In our premiere issue, we spoke with Steve Cooper,
who left a private-sector job at Corning to heed the call of duty. And he isn't
alone. The federal ranks swell with individuals who sought out public service
over the material comforts the private sector often provides. In the Human
Capital story on page 30, we share insights from individuals in the IT field
who fit that bill, including Gloria Parker of Housing and Urban Development
and Daniel Meehan of the Federal Aviation Administration.
And let's not forget the people who have devoted their career to public
service. Karen Evans, administrator of the Office of Electronic Government
and Information Technology at the OMB, is a prime example. With 22
years of government experience, Evans is transforming the vision of
e-government into reality. She shares her insights on page 42.
For more on the federal landscape, our columnists also delve into the issue
of accountability. As Paul Wohlleben points out on page 16, numerous agencies
will report progress against three critical success factors: vision, sponsorship
and governance. The agencies will lead the way by avoiding duplication of
systems, programs and infrastructures as they revamp their IT architecture.
On page 18, Jim Shanks states that even a small amount of accountability
makes a difference in government spending. In 2003, the federal government
met the requirements of the 1988 Small Business Act, which mandated that
23 percent of federal prime contracts go to small businesses. While we
celebrate reaching this lofty goal, we should also keep in mind what this
stimulus means to an economy driven by small business.
Overall, these stories provide interesting insights into our government. We
hope you enjoy this issue, and urge you to share your suggestions on additional
ways we can spotlight the triumphs and challenges of the federal sector.
Editor in Chief