Change Waste Culture to Reward Culture

posted by Phil_W on October 4, 2007 - 6:30am

The current culture of waste within the federal government is self-perpetuating. Middle managers are often encouraged to spend so as to not lose their budget allotment for the next fiscal year. In this environment, fiefdoms are established and each middle manager overlord is faced with the loss of their little empire if they don't spend. Mere spending has somehow come to be the same as need in the bureaucratic waste culture. The relation of spending to actual need is a lost concept in this culture. Consequently, this management inefficiency costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year in unnecessary spending.

A reward culture would have managers work to return money and still get necessary projects completed. Spending projections are submitted prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. Once approved, managerial competence is based on whether the money is spent. Often, no leeway is permitted to stray from the approved predictions without disparaging vibrations being sent down through the bureaucratic apparatus. A reward culture would permit adjustments based on reassessments, innovation, and belt tightening efforts that would not reflect poorly on managers that returned money to the general coffers. A reward culture would not penalize money saving efforts by automatically withholding funding for the next year. Instead, managerial kudos would permit the re-introduction of projects that managers were able to ameliorate through reassessment, innovation, or belt tightening. Efforts to conserve spending would be rewarded rather than penalized.

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