OMB Seeks Comment on Proposal to Create a Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center

by Emily Bremer — Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018@emilysbremer

The proposed GEAR Center is described as “a public-private partnership to improve mission delivery, citizen services, and stewardship of public resources.”  OMB is requesting comments by September 14, 2018 from the public, academics, experts, and industry.  The Request for Information (RFI) appears to have been only been posted online, with a shorter notice of its availability published in the Federal Register.  From that Federal Register notice, which is out for public inspection today:

The Executive Office of the President seeks input from across sectors and disciplines on capabilities that already exist as well as key considerations in pursuing the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center initiative through a request for information (RFI) now available on www.Performance.gov/GEARcenter.

The Federal Government intends to pursue a Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center, which would be a public-private partnership focused on applied research that improves mission delivery, citizen services, and stewardship of public resources, as proposed in Delivering Government Solutions for the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations. This non-governmental, public-private partnership would address operational and strategic challenges facing the Federal Government, both now and into the future, by engaging researchers, academics, non-profits, and private industry across an array of disciplines, such as data science, organizational behavior, and user-centered design.

Through applied research and live pilot testing, the GEAR Center would connect cutting-edge thinking with real-world challenges the Federal Government faces in serving Americans in the Digital Age. This means re-imagining possibilities for how citizens interact with the Government; rethinking the delivery of citizen services and data; reforming core processes (e.g., procurement, budget, IT investment and capital allocation); and exploring how the public-sector workforce can be developed, reskilled and redeployed in creative ways.

Again, comments in response to the RFI are due September 14 via email to performance@omb.eop.gov. The Federal Register notice provides further instructions for submitting comments:

Interested parties should provide written responses to the questions outlined in the “Purpose of This RFI” section. Submissions are due on September 14, 2018 through email to performance@omb.eop.gov. Please include the below in your response, limiting this portion of your response to one page:

  • The name of the individual(s) and/or organization responding.
  • A brief description of the responding individual(s) or organization’s mission and/or areas of expertise, including any public-private partnership work within the past three years with Federal, State, or local governments that is relevant to applied research on workforce reskilling and data commercialization.
  • A contact for questions or other follow-up on your response.

Although there are surely differences, this brings to my mind the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, which was the Clinton-Gore Administration’s initiative to reform federal government operations.  The website for that initiative was http://www.npr.gov (reflecting the initiative’s original name, the “National Performance Review”) and is archived online by the University of North Texas.  So if you’re interested in that history, you can read all about it!

Cite As: Author Name, Title, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (date), URL.

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About Emily Bremer

Emily S. Bremer is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. Before joining the faculty, Professor Bremer taught at the University of Wyoming College of Law, served as the Research Chief of the Administrative Conference of the United States, worked as an associate in the telecommunications and appellate practice of Wiley Rein LLP, and clerked for Hon. Andrew J. Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her research focuses on administrative procedure and issues at the intersection of public and private governance, with a particular focus on the use of privately developed technical standards in government regulation.

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