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No Time to Wait: Building a Public Service for the 21st Century

No Time to Wait: Building a Public Service for the 21st Century. A White Paper by a Panel of the National Academy of Public Administration. “What the federal government most needs, we believe, is a human capital system built on a sturdy three-legged stool: mission first, principles always, and accountability for both. We need a federated system that provides agencies with the flexibility to effectively manage the missions that Congress has set for them. We need a renewed commitment to the principles of merit that have been the foundation of the federal government’s people systems for more than 130 years. And we need an innovative strategy, at the enterprise level, to promote accountability for both of these goals, a strategy that is outcome-based and data-driven. Such a system, we conclude, would:

  • Provide individual agencies the flexibility to create human capital systems that meet the needs of their missions; Uphold the core principles on which a civil service ultimately depends; and
  • Establish a governance and accountability structure that balances the two and uses collaboration and data analytics to redefine accountability and to accelerate the system’s ability to adapt to the future…”

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