New study on cross-agency collaboration

Jane Fountain

Jane Fountain

Jane Fountain has released a preliminary report “Examining Constraints To, and Providing Tools For, Cross-Agency Collaboration” commissioned by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), an independent federal agency whose goal is to make government work more efficiently.

The preliminary report is available on the ACUS website for public comment until mid-November 2013. The final report will remain publicly available on the ACUS website. On December 6, 2013, ACUS members — primarily current and former federal agency general counsels and attorneys — will vote in a plenary session on a set of recommendations advanced by the ACUS Committee on Management and Administration and based on the study.
The study focuses on cross-agency collaboration in the context of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010. The legislation requires government-wide goals as well as agency goals that include greater attention to cross-agency collaboration. In addition, the GPRA Modernization Act established the Performance Improvement Council in the federal government as a means for agency leaders to share best practices for improving government performance.

GPRA introduces its own set of tools and constraints for and against collaboration, says Fountain, but little attention has been given to a series of institutional challenges to cross agency coordination. Her report “examines the use of tools by federal agency political appointees and career decision makers to overcome and work within these institutional challenges,” she says. “The recommendations encourage wider use of such tools to advance cross-agency collaboration in federal agencies.”