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Democracy on Trial: The Rule of Law and the NSA

Imagine a government that spies on its citizens, often without warrants. A government that holds secret court hearings, or a government that asserts the right to detain and jail citizens…

What is Social Marketing? What’s in It for Public Agencies?

What is Social Marketing? What’s in It for Public Agencies?

Imagine a world where citizens eagerly adopt behaviors that public agencies promote, from getting annual flu shots and drinking only eight ounces of soda pop at lunch . . .…

Facing Bankruptcy

Facing Bankruptcy

The City of Detroit has declared bankruptcy. It is the largest city in the United States ever to do so, and the punditry—what the late Molly Ivins called “the chattering…

The Art of Disagreement

In a complex world, we seek to simplify. Too much information, too many decisions, too fast-paced. Over the years, we learn to form opinions quickly, make decisions and move on.…

Finding Future Leaders in Federal Government Matters

Finding Future Leaders in Federal Government Matters

As retirement and sequestration in the public workforce become common, we hear more concerns expressed about who our future public managers will be and where they will come from. In…

Pre and Post Termination Hearings: When Public Employees are Entitled to Due Process Hearings

Due to the fiscal woes plaguing many public entities across the United States, not all human resources managers have the luxury of picking up the phone and calling their organization’s…

Time to Revisit the Public-Private Debate

Several months ago, I attended a local government conference. One of the speakers was a county administrator who described the challenges of his job. A member of the audience abruptly…

The Budget as the Financial Plan

The Budget as the Financial Plan

The two previous columns have discussed two of the criteria by which the Government Finance Officers Association critiques budgets for the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – that of a policy document…

The Role of State Centrism in Aid-Dependent Rule of Law Public Administration

Understanding State Centrism With dependence on U.S.-based foreign aid to maintain security and justice public administration, a heritage of elitist state control in a country can both perpetuate this dependence…

Are Employees Lazy and Stupid… Or Something Else?

Are Employees Lazy and Stupid… Or Something Else?

Last month’s column described the roots of modern budget management systems in the progressive and reform movements that took hold in the beginning of the 20th century. Financial management was…

SCOTUS Delivers Color Blind Ruling: The Dismantling of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Introduction At the intersection of judicial policy and civil rights the U.S. Supreme Court delivered two divergent, landmark rulings last month with national implications. In United States v. Windsor (570…