Margaret Weichert, deputy director of Management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said Oct. 22 that the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) issued by the White House in 2018 aims to allow the Federal government to become more agile in improving citizen service, and in doing so to operate closer to the private-sector mode.

Speaking at the ACT-IAC Imagine Nation 2019 conference, Weichert discussed a loss of trust in government and linked that to the government’s failure to “execute” at the pace of the private sector.

“Trust in government is at its nadir,” Weichert said, and asserted that “half of the country doesn’t under the other.”

Contributing to a loss of trust in government, Weichert said, is government’s failure to “execute in a 21st century way,” like the private sector does, with “agility” being a key difference between how the two operate.

By way of example, she cited private sector companies including banks and retail outlets that work to ensure continuation of IT and other operations during natural disasters such as hurricanes, and in that way build consumer trust.

“Agility powered by IT” is a key ingredient to earn that trust, she said. “Good ideas abound, but execution is the key,” she added.

“I am deeply concerned about structural impediments to agility” in government, Weichert said, and pledged to continue work to uncover “structural issues” to progress and innovation.

“Agility is built into the private sector … you have to earn it every day,” she said, adding it is “critical” that government also operates with the same kind of agility.

Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.