• Government Was Last Re-Organized 60 Years Ago

    Jeffrey Zients, Office of Management and Budget: The last time the government was reorganized was more than 60 years ago during the Truman administration and clearly, our government can’t succeed in today’s world with yesterday’s systems.

  • Improving Services

    Jeffrey Zients, Office of Management and Budget: The federal government is working aggressively to improve its service to the people.

  • Competitiveness Is Job Number One

    Jeffrey Zients, Office of Management and Budget: Our focus is to reorganize the federal government so that we’re more competitive; and that effort begins with trade policy that vastly expands our exports and fosters job creation at home.

  • Progress Thus Far

    Jeffrey Zients, Office of Management and Budget: Our innovations are working. We’ve ended 700 billion dollars in payments to bogus recipients, eliminated unnecessary programs while streamlining others and have made the government more accessible.


Federal government performance is at a crisis point. According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research national survey, 86 percent of Americans believe the federal government is broken. Voters view government agencies as inefficient and wasteful, trust in government is at an all-time low and most Americans do not view elected officials as effective problem-solvers.

On March 22, the Brookings Institution hosted a half-day conference on improving government performance, efficiency and effectiveness. The second annual A. Alfred Taubman Forum convened leaders from government, academia, and administrative agencies to discuss concrete policy actions to improve federal government performance and to overcome obstacles that hinder good governance. Questions to be explored included: How can we reform our political institutions? How can we improve federal agency performance? Where will we get our future federal workforce and what is the role of technology in making agencies more transparent and efficient?

To discuss these challenges were Jeffrey Zients, chief performance officer and deputy director, White House Office of Management and Budget; Joseph Goldman, interim executive director, Campaign for Stronger Democracy; and Shelley Metzenbaum, associate director for performance and management, White House Office of Management and Budget.

Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.

Event Agenda


March 22, 2011

8:30 AM - 1:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105

SERIES: The A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy | Number 2