Fall 2015 - 59830 - PA384C - Public Management

When agencies fail to carry out their missions, when programs fail to operate efficiently, effectively, and fairly, and when agency staff fail to perform at their highest level, then management has failed.  Securing and retaining the public’s trust in the work of government rests squarely on the abilities and successful leadership of managers. The focus of this course will be to prepare students for management positions with the U.S. federal government or with agencies that have strong ties with the federal sector.

Increasingly, governments are called upon to be efficient and transparent in their operations and to serve as catalysts for—in addition to actual deliverers, redistributors, or regulators of—goods, services, and opportunities affecting the public. As such, the responsibilities of public managers are shifting increasingly to managing more dynamic, innovative, integrated, and collaborative organizations.

The course will be shaped around the main ‘levers’ that federal managers and policy makers have to work with. This would include teaching specifically about the U.S. federal government systems and rules.

To prepare for this profession, students will learn how to: develop and implement human resource plans; comply with civil service laws and protections; formulate regulatory and policy directives; develop strategies for procurement and contracting for goods and services; identify and exploit opportunities to offer advice and counsel to executive and congressional leadership; establish relationships with oversight and compliance authorities; and manage and design organizational systems that support sound management practice.

The course will integrate theories of management with actual experiences of those who have managed in order to help students develop skills and insights necessary to lead and manage national public organizations.

Class objectives include:

  • Understanding organizations and the many levers or tools that a manager has to achieve and/or exceed job expectations, including diagnosing root causes of management failure.
  • Creating feasible strategic directives for the organization that align with the mission and that can be measured and their progress tracked.
  • Managing under fiscal constraints and uncertainty while maintaining efficient and effective organizational operations.
  • Developing reasonable and reliable performance systems to oversee operations and adhere to executive directives.
  • Managing a diverse workforce by learning how to prepare job positions, recruiting plans, actual performance expectations and systems that support them, and yearly professional development plans. 
  • Understanding civil service laws and protections, including: grievance protocols, dispute resolutions, the role of the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in enforcing civil service laws, and methods for separating individuals from federal service.
  • Learning the processes used to prepare and oversee contracts, appropriate tasks for contractors, and the basic of project management.
  • Developing policy regulations and guidelines to implement new and changing public policies.
  • Developing oversight skills applicable to unique federal settings including:
    • Congressional oversight and reporting: mastering the skills of working with the Congress as it undertakes its oversight responsibilities of executive agencies, including understanding appropriate relationships with the Congress, delivering meaningful oversight documents to the Congress, executing congressional directives, etc.
    • Relationship with the Executive Office of the President: learning the implications of shared governance of programs by the Office of Management and Budget and executive branch agencies.
    • Central oversight agencies (OMB, GAO, IG’s, etc.): understanding the different roles each of the main oversight agencies plays in the management of executive agencies.
  • Creating a work environment that is ethical and focused on public service.
M.P.Aff
SRH 3.212/221