2013

Department of Energy: Review of Departmental Management and Oversight of the National Laboratories

January 2013 - The Department of Energy’s fiscal year 2012 Appropriations Bill directed the National Academy of Public Administration to conduct an independent review of the management and oversight of DOE’s national laboratories. In directing the study, the Appropriations Committees stated that the Academy should consider such issues as how DOE headquarters and site offices oversee lab operations and whether existing laboratory performance metrics for the Department’s management and operating contractors measure critical aspects of their performance and how the Department utilizes performance metrics and data.

Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age

January 2013 - The conference report to the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act mandated that the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) conduct a broad operational review of GPO to (1) update past studies of GPO operations; (2) examine the feasibility of GPO continuing to perform executive branch printing; and (3) identify additional cost saving operational alternatives beyond those that GPO has already implemented. The Academy formed a five-member Panel of Fellows to conduct a ten-month study of the agency’s current role, its operations, and its future direction.

Reforming the U.S. Postal Service: An Independent Review of a Thought-Leader Proposal to Reform the U.S. Postal Service

March 2013 - Rapidly declining mail volumes and a range of other financial and operating factors have placed the US Postal Service under significant financial pressure that threatens its continued viability. In addition to other recent studies of proposed alternatives for Congress and the Postal Service to consider, a group of Thought-Leaders outside of the Academy’s Fellowship have proposed the development and implementation of a new model: a hybrid public-private partnership.

Measuring What Matters: Reducing Risk by Rethinking How We Evaluate Cybersecurity

March 2013 - SafeGov has developed a framework to spur the creation of a more effective approach to cybersecurity evaluation. As part of its strategy for developing this framework, SafeGov engaged the National Academy of Public Administration to convene an expert Panel of its Fellows to conduct an independent review. Based on its review, the Academy Panel believes that the cybersecurity evaluation framework developed by SafeGov in this report is an important step toward building a more dynamic, risk-based approach that will yield more robust protection from cyber threats across the government.

The STOCK Act: An Independent Review of the Impact of Providing Personally Identifiable Financial Information Online

March 2013 - The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires the filing of publicly-available annual financial disclosures by senior officials in all three branches of the federal government. Congress amended the Act in 2012 with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act) that requires online posting of executive and legislative branch officials’ financial forms on April 15, 2013, as well as the creation of a searchable, sortable, public database for these financial forms in October 2013.

Forecast for the Future: Assuring the Capacity of the National Weather Service

May 2013 - Congress directed the National Weather Service (NWS) through the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (H. Rept. 112-284, P.L. 112-55) to contract with an independent organization to evaluate efficiencies that can be made to NWS operations. The NWS selected the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct this independent assessment. The Academy formed a five-member Panel of Fellows to conduct the seven-month study of the NWS’s current operations and structure, and the challenges the agency will face going forward.

The Governance Structure of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: An Independent Review

September 2013 - The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012 mandated that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) contract with the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct a comprehensive review of PBGC's governance structure and offer recommendations to enhance its effectiveness. PBGC is governed by a three-member Board consisting of the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Treasury.

Independent Assessment of a White Paper by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General

October 2013 - In response to declining volumes of mail and an ever-changing communications world, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) authored a White Paper entitled "Public-Private Partnerships: Best Practices and Opportunities for the Postal Service." Such partnerships are an increasingly common way for governments to achieve policy goals and develop infrastructure while shifting short-term financial burdens out of government. The OIG's White Paper discusses how U.S. government agencies, states, and international postal operators use PPPs, and how the Postal Service might adopt these practices to reduce the cost of universal service and leverage private sector competencies.

FEMA Flood Mapping: Enhancing Coordination to Maximize Performance

November 2013 - Congress directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to prepare a report on “how FEMA should improve interagency and intergovernmental coordination on flood mapping, including a funding strategy” and how FEMA “can establish joint funding mechanisms with other federal, state and local governments to share the collection and utilization of data among all governmental users.”