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Summit on the Cost of Government 2010

Sep. 14 - 15, 2010 | Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

8:00 am Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am GOVERNING Welcome

9:10 am Why this Summit Matters

David Osborne, Author and Senior Partner, Public Strategies Group
David Osborne, author of five books: The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis (2004); The Reinventor's Fieldbook: Tools for Transforming Your Government (2000); Banishing Bureaucracy: The Five Strategies For Reinventing Government (1997); Reinventing Government (1992); and Laboratories of Democracy (1988). He has also authored numerous articles for the Washington Post, The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Harpers, Inc.GOVERNING, and other publications.

David is a senior partner of The Public Strategies Group, a consulting firm that helps public organizations develop and implement strategies to improve their performance. He has worked with governments large and small, from cities and counties to states, federal agencies, and foreign governments.

10:00 am Discussion

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Priorities, Budgets, and Strategic Planning

The pressures on budgets today call for a new approach to setting priorities and allocating limited resources. Can states accomplish their goals with the money they have?  How will governments balance the need to provide critical services, with new mandates and citizen demands? In the past several years, governments have cut entire programs and made straight percentage cuts across the entire organization in an attempt to balance the budget - Is there a better way? What would a strategy that introduces market forces and encourages competition look like for government? How can a government go about setting priorities?

Discussion Facilitator: Jonathan Walters, Contributing Editor and Author, GOVERNING

Jonathan has been covering state and local public policy and administration for more than 30 years. He has contributed to dozens of publications, including the Washington Post and USA Today. He is the author of Measuring Up: GOVERNING's Guide to Performance Measurement for Geniuses and other Public Managers, a second edition of Measuring Up, and Good Press, Bad Press, Depressed: GOVERNING's Survival Guide for Public Officials. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a degree in English/Journalism.
Practitioner Perspectives:

Honorable Diana Urban, Connecticut House of Representatives

Cynthia Eisenhauer, Former Chief of Staff to Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack

Larisa Benson, Director of Performance Audits. Washington State Auditor’s Office

12:30 pm Lunch

2:00 pm Healthcare Strategies, Opportunities and Affordability

States have felt the burden of increasing costs associated with healthcare for decades. The Affordable Healthcare Act promises to offer relief and opportunities. However, in 1700 pages of legislation and with state's facing challenges on a multitude of fronts, leaders are hard pressed to find easy answers. This discussion will share models and programs that make sense.  Where have successful state health reform programs been launched prior to the federal legislation? How will states successfully approach new federal healthcare legislation? How can states achieve performance and accountability from the healthcare industry thereby achieving improved quality of life, access to care and affordability for citizens?

Discussion Facilitator: David Osborne, Senior Partner, Public Strategies Group

Practitioner Perspectives:

Alan Levine, Former Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

Joe Minarick, Senior Vice President and Director for Research, Center for Economic Development

3:45 pm Break

4:00 pm Operations, Services and Performance

In response to the economic crisis, agencies have exhausted the cost-cutting playbook: they have cut travel, quit hiring, decreed a moratorium on purchasing paperclips, and centralized everything. But while agencies struggle to cut the expenses of government, they are missing the real opportunity in this crisis - cutting the costs of government.  The costs in government, like the water pipes of a house, are often invisible, hidden the systems of government.  And these pipes are twisted, rusting and about to burst. They simply don’t have the capacity to keep up. This open dialog will explore where the hidden costs of government are; how government can perform its vital functions 80% faster at less cost with better quality; and the DNA of government complexity and how we can genetically modify it. The conversation will include several agencies who have made break-through, innovative changes to service delivery and government operations that have allowed them to not simply weather tough budget times but thrive – serving 40% more customers 70% faster with no increase in cost.

Discussion Facilitator: Ken Miller, Contributing Editor and Author, GOVERNING

Ken served as Deputy Director for the Missouri Department of Revenue, where he transformed the department into one of the few government agencies nationwide to be honored as a State Quality Award winner. The Department also reduced tax refund issuance time by 80 percent (the fastest in the nation) and cut wait times in motor vehicle offices by half.

Ken was later named Director of Performance Improvement for Missouri State Government, where he led award-winning performance measurement initiatives and a series of transformation projects saving more than $200 million overall.  Ken was named one of the country’s top change agents by Fast Company Magazine. He is the author of two popular books: We Don’t Make Widgets and The Change Agent’s Guide to Radical Improvement.

Practitioner Perspective:

Craig R. Rapp, ICMA-CM Director, Consulting Services, ICMA-International City/County Management Association

5:30 pm Adjourn

6:30 pm Dinner and Reception at the Newseum

Dinner Speaker: The Honorable Richard Ravitch, Lieutenant Governor, New York

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

8:30 am  Breakfast

9:15 am  Leadership Panel: From the Coach’s Clipboard

Current and former elected officials share strategies from their personal playbooks. The panel will discuss how the game is changing, what does leading look like in a post-recession environment, and what do they see as the path forward? The audience is requested to pre-submit their questions and ideas for this session.

Discussion Facilitator: Peter A. Harkness, Founder and Publisher emeritus of GOVERNING

Peter has watched government at all levels, from Washington to the states, cities, and counties, for 37 years.  His reporting assignments for Congressional Quarterly included the White House, Congress, and national politics.  He is a recipient of the Raymond Clapper Award for investigative reporting, awarded by the White House Correspondents Association, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, one of the few journalists to be inducted into its membership.


Senator Mark R. Warner, United States Senate, State of Virginia

Stephen Goldsmith, Deputy Mayor for Operations, New York City

David Smith, County Manager, Maricopa County, Arizona

11:30 am  Adjourn



Government Spending: New Ideas to Save Money.

Watch this video to see state and local leaders talk about innovative ways to do the public's business from dumb ideas contests, results based accountability to innovation from citizens.

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