25 years later, what happened to ‘reinventing government?’

Illustration by Trevor AndersenThe ambitious public management crusade of the 1990s has made a mark on governments everywhere. But it’s fallen short of some of its goals.

By John Buntin | Governing

In the fall of 2011, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire convened a meeting to review one of the proudest accomplishments of her two terms in office — the state’s Government Management Accountability and Performance system. GMAP was inspired by earlier experiments that had succeeded in the New York City Police Department and in Baltimore. Gregoire had worked for six years to put a similar system in place in Washington. Hundreds of performance measures had been identified and linked to strategic agency plans. The governor and her leadership team had held quarterly meetings — all open to the public — with the heads of 30 agencies to work on specific problems in eight priority areas (health care, public safety, transportation, vulnerable children and adults, education, natural resources, economic vitality, and government reform and efficiency).

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