Organization of Government

Must Read

CGD: Quality of Official Development Assitance Assessment

Authors: Nancy Birdsall and Homi Kharas

The United States may be the largest donor of foreign assistance in the world, but it ranks among the lowest in terms of quality and effectiveness of its aid, according to a report by the Center for Global Development (CGD), in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, that assesses more than 150 countries' foreign aid money.

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Primary Sources

Open Government Directive

The Obama administration implemented an initiative to "take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration," which include publishing more government data online, improving the quality of government document, encouraging a culture of openness and enabling a framework for open policy.

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Article

In Defense of Secrecy

Author: Noah Feldman
New York Times Magazine

Noah Feldman discusses the need for a balance between secrecy and transparency in the U.S. government. He explains, "The effective operation of even the most democratic government requires secrecy and surprise as well as transparency and predictability."

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USIP: Iraq and the Gulf States: The Balance of Fear

Author: Jon B. Alterman

This special report from the United States Institute of Peace says that Iraq’s neighbors are playing a major role—both positive and negative—in the country’s worsening crisis, and reviews the interests and influence of the countries surrounding Iraq and the impact on U.S. bilateral relations.

See more in Organization of Government; Nation Building; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; Iraq

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GAO: Homeland Security: Challenges in Creating an Effective Acquisition Organization

Author: Michael J. Sullivan

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the most extensive acquisition needs within theU.S. government. This report summarizes GAO reports and testimonies, which have reported on various aspects of DHS acquisitions. It examines areas where DHS has been successful in promoting collaboration among its various organizations, challenges it still faces in integrating the acquisition function across the department, and DHS' implementation of an effective review process for its major, complex investments. Since its establishment in March 2003, DHS has been faced with assembling 23 separate federal agencies and organizations with multiple missions and cultures into one department. This mammoth task involved a variety of transformational efforts, one of which is to design and implement the necessary management structure and processes for the acquisition of goods and services. The report highlights the need for improved oversight of contractors and adherence to a rigorous management review process.

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