The National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the President's Management Agenda
NPR was the longest initiative ever, in the history of the US federal government. NPR was replaced by PMA in 2001 by President George W. Bush. NPR and PMA had several similarities as well as differences. The two aimed to improve the way the federal government functioned by making it more result oriented. They were meant to ensure that the American receive the prime services that they deserved for being Americans. They had similar initiative that they both managed to achieve albeit to varying extents. For instance they targeted at reducing the size of the government and government spending, serving the citizens better, improving government approach to communities, instituting governance, improving human resource practices of the federal government, enhancing its financial management systems and changing the government approach to businesses.
The most notable and obvious difference is that they were enacted by two different administrations. The former was enacted by the Clinton administration while the later was a Bush initiative. PMA simply built on the initiatives of NPR and therefore employed a lot more improved approaches and wider scope than NPR. The success of these initiatives is mostly a product of the strategic planning that was involved in the preparation and implementation of the plans. Indeed, as Cohen, Eimicke, & Heikkila (2008) notes strategic planning is necessary for the success of government, public and non-profit organizations initiative the same way it is for businesses.
Reinventing Government: suitable approach
The way most governments operate leaves a lot to be desired. Most governments around the world, including our own, consistently fail to meet the expectations of the governed. The governments are run by bureaucrats and politicians who introduce market forces as caution to fiscal pressure and end up creating government enterprises that are monopolistic in nature. Boyne 2002 associate the bureaucracy in government agencies as a product of the governments wide mission and its natural autonomous political authority. In reinventing the government it would be very productive to apply the business customer service model to governing the country thus the customer centered approach.
The government should behave like a business taking care of its citizens the way businesses take car of their customer. This way reinventing the government aims at improving the quality of governance the resultant services. A customer sensitive government is one that is accountable to its citizens. It provides the citizens with a wide range of services thus widening their choices. The choices are competitive and the customers are assured of the quality. As Osborne and Gaebler (1993) suggest the government should be result oriented generative in outcomes instead of concentrating on input. The government should further seek to meet the citizens' needs and shun bureaucracy. A government that is citizen oriented will empower the people by improving their capacity to fend for their need instead of only delivering services to them
The aim of this approach is ensuring accountability. In fact accountability is the main lever behind citizen oriented governance (Osborne, 2007). In other words, the government and other organization are full responsible of the effects of their activities. Manager and worker in various government agencies and political office therefore have to take full responsibility of their activities as well as bare responsibility of anything the goes wrong under their docket.
Indeed a customer or citizen oriented approach of governance should be encouraged since it targets people, ensuring that the government and its agencies play their role and take responsibility for their actions. It also ensures that people are empowered to fend for themselves other than solely depending on the government, but as Boyne opined, it is necessary to uphold a certain level of bureaucracy to enable agencies and organizations protect their activities to facilitate their accountability.