OMB: Initiatives will outlast Bush

GovExec published an interesting article last week about the permanence of initiatives such as the Lines of Business (grants management being one of them). Many agencies are asking themselves whether to pay a lot of attention to these initiatives, in light of the possibility that they may be axed by an incoming administration. OMB believes that these initiatives are here to stay because “we’re on the side of right,” as Robert Shea, the chap who leads implementation of the Performance And Rating Tool (PART) put it.

My fear is that “right” often plays no part in politically-charged policy-making. Parochialism is rife throughout the government — agencies protecting their territories from each other and OMB oversight — and persuading Congress to force its eradication is a multi-year, up-at-dawn fight.

While I’m not persuaded of the inevitability that initiatives like the GMLOB will continue, I’m optimistic that most of them shall because of the momentum that each has already built. Parochialism is a tough object to move but fundamental organizational transformation and change are even tougher to slow down, once they’re begun in earnest. GMLOB, FMLOB, HRLOB, PART, and others are already moving relatively quickly, and with two years left of the current administration I can’t see them slowing anytime soon.