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Commission Urges Management Reform In Government

By John S. McClenahen Perhaps with last year's corporate scandals in mind, the National Commission on the Public Service, headed by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker, is not specifically saying that the federal government should be run more like a business. But it is advocating changes that seem to parallel best business practices. For example, the panel is urging that the Executive Branch's 15 cabinet departments and nine councils and agencies be reorganized into "a limited number of mission-related executive departments containing individual operating agencies with management and personnel systems designed for their needs." The Volcker Commission advocates a "significant" reduction in the number of political appointments to top federal management jobs and a streamlined appointment process. And the panel proposes government-wide compensation reform that would allow agencies to set pay more in line with market conditions and would closely tie advancement and compensation to performance. It's now up to the White House and Congress to implement, reject, or, as seems more likely, simply ignore the commission's recommendations.

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