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Reflection Paper on Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st Century

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  • November 26, 2011
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A Reflection Paper on Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st Century

This is a reflection paper on the recommendations proposed in the Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st century report by the National Commission on the Public Service (Volcker Commission). The Volcker commission, comprised of members from the three major political parties, recognizes the importance of disciplined policy direction, operational flexibility, and clear and high performance standards as guiding objectives (The National Commission on the Public Service [NCPS], 2003) for an organizational restructuring within the federal government to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This author agrees with the commission in that no such undertaken has occurred since the Hoover Commission some 50 years ago. It articulates in my view a comprehensive plan to reclaim the dignity once associated with public service, and if effectively utilized could re-establish trust between the American public and its government. The decline in confidence shared by many Americans in the capability of federal personnel to carry out the tasks of public service must be addressed. The National Commission on the Public Service (Volcker Commission) recognized this need and published a 2003 report on the public service sector titled Urgent Business for America: Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st Century. The report, a collective collaboration between veteran government employees, drew upon their knowledge and the expertise of outside sources from every political affiliation to address challenges that plague the civil service sector in the 21st century. The members of the commission focused on seven key areas which are: the relationship between the government and the American public, organizational disorder, one size fits all management, vanishing talent, personnel systems, and labor-management conflict (NCPS, 2003). This author considers trust as the main component of any...