Alliance for Redesigning Government


The Alliance for Redesigning Government was an initiative of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).  Congress chartered NAPA in 1967 as a non-profit, independent coalition of top public management and organization leaders.  James Webb, former NASA Administrator was the Principal Founder.

Origins of the Alliance



The Alliance was founded to create an information and learning network for the thousands of change agents -- people in or close to government -- who are struggling to improve the public sector's performance. In the 1990s, a vibrant movement to "reinvent government" has grown up. But it is a movement without a central nervous system.

David Osborne discovered the need as soon as Reinventing Government was published, in 1992. In early 1993, Osborne joined with columnist Neal Peirce, National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) President R. Scott Fosler, and Barbara Dyer of the Council of Governors' Policy Advisers to create such a network, as a project of the National Academy. In its inaugural year, the Alliance formed a distinguished advisory board, which includes members of the U.S. Senate, federal officials, governors, county commissioners, mayors, city managers, labor union presidents, non-profit and business leaders, and scholars.

...The goal of the Alliance is to be market-oriented, chiefly dependent on subscriptions, fees, sales and corporate sponsorships for its revenues. In our start-up period, we have raised seed capital from corporations, individuals and foundations. Among the corporate supporters have been Anderson Consulting, AT&T, Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., Dennis Trading Group, General Electric, Goldman, Sachs and Co., IBM, NYNEX, and Xerox. Philanthropic support has included grants from the ARCO Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Carnegie Corporation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Jerome Kohlberg Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

...The Learning Network: Working with IBM as our technical partner, the Alliance is developing a data base of promising practices, lessons learned, tools, and tips on what to read and who to contact. The Learning Network will also provide a connecting point for innovators who wish to share their wisdom and seek advice from practitioners, consultants, academics and other experts. We will sponsor on-line clinics with experts on particular issues, forums in which people can exchange information, a bulletin board, and related services.

The Learning Network covers a full range of topics -- from citizen engagement to customer service, from work force development to community development, from procurement reform to performance measurement. For each topic, the Alliance works with experts and practitioners to develop issue overviews, glossaries of terms, cases, contact people, book reviews and annotated bibliographies. To build the data base, cooperative arrangements are being developed with the Kennedy School of Government/Ford Foundation Innovations Awards Program, the Reason Foundation, the National Civic League, The AFL/CIO, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and others.

...Contracting With Nonprofits Organizations (under development): The Alliance has developed a proposal to work with government officials and nonprofit organizations to determine effective approaches to results-driven contracting. Government relies increasingly on community based nonprofit organizations to deliver social services. Nonprofit service providers are generally more in tune with communities, more flexible, and less expensive than direct government service providers (bullshit!). However, if government is going to become more accountable to the citizens for measurable results, what implications does this have for nonprofits? How can our governments eliminate the red tape with which they so often suffocate nonprofit providers and replace it with a performance-based contract? How can we extend to the nonprofit world the kind of accountability-for-flexibility tradeoff the Oregon Option is pioneering? How can the public sector empower community organizations to heal their communities without debilitating them with rules and drowning them in paperwork?


Advisory Board Members 



National Government - Elected

Senator Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut
Senator William Roth, Delaware

State Government - Elected

Former Mayor Barbara Roberts, Director, JFK School of Government, Cambridge, MA - Alliance Co-Vice Chair
Governor Roy Romer, Colorado
Governor William Weld, Massachusetts

State Government - Appointed & Career

Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools, Baltimore, MD
Sandra Hale, President, Enterprise Management Int'l., Minnesota
Curtis Johnson, Chairman, Metropolitan Council, Minnesota

Local Government - Elected

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York
Former Mayor William Hudnut, President, Urban Land Institute, Chicago - Alliance Co- Vice Chair
Beverly Stein, Multnomah County Chair, Oregon

Local Government - Appointed & Career

Camille Barnett, Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina
Robert Bobb, City Manager, Richmond

Union Members

Gerald McEntee, President, AFSCME, Washington, DC
Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC
John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC


Alan Altshuler, Director, Taubman Center, JFK School of Government, Cambridge, MA
Richard Nathan, Provost, Rockefeller Institute, Albany, NY

Community, Non-Profit Leaders

Gail Christopher, President, Gail C. Christopher Enterprises, Washington, DC
Alfred Ramirez, Executive Director, White House Initiative for Hispanic Education, Washington, DC

Private Sector

Henry Gardner, Gardner, Underwood and Bacon, Oakland, CA
Ted Gaebler, Director, The Gaebler Group, San Rafael, CA
Barbara Dyer, Washington, DC Philip K. Howard, Howard, Darby & Levin, New York, NY

Association Leaders

Mark Abramson, Chairman, Leadership, Inc., Washington, DC
John Parr, Senior Counsel, National Civic League, Denver

Opinion Shapers/Media

Peter Harkness, Editor and Publisher, Governing
David Osborne, Writer/Consultant - Alliance Chair
Neal Peirce, Syndicated Columnist, Contributing Editor, The National Journal
Tom Peters, The Tom Peters Group, author of In Search of Excellence

Alliance Staff

Kathy Keeley, Director
Neal Johnson, Executive Editor
Ed Finkel, Assistant Editor
Sherri Fillingham, Marketing Director
Nanette Hines, Administrative Manager



Reinvention Laboratories


When Labs Began

The concept of the Reinvention Labs was born at the very beginning of the National Performance Review reform initiative. In an April 1, 1993 letter, Vice President Gore asked the heads of heads of each federal department and agency to "designate two or three programs or units to be laboratories for reinventing government." He said that the:

"... point is to pick a few places where we can immediately unshackle our workers so they can re-engineer their work processes to fully accomplish their missions -- places where we can fully delegate authority and responsibility, replace regulations with incentives, and measure our success by customer satisfaction."

In response to this request, according to NPR Task Force officials, the federal departments and agencies designated more than 100 Reinvention Laboratories across the country. The Labs encompassed a wide variety of government programs, processes, systems and concepts to be reinvented. They began with the full and explicit support of top leadership in each department and agency. The Labs were to be empowered to lead the process of change in the agencies. For the most part the Labs were front-line organizations who worked directly with their customers, understood their requirements, could quickly see the problems in service delivery, and were in the best position to find and experiment with solutions to those problems.

Lab Principles

The Hunt Valley Conference identified a number of principles that were projected to be key to the success of the Reinvention Labs:

  • Promote leadership in action. It is vital to the Lab that the agency head take a direct and influential role in leading or supporting the lab. The agency head must have a sense of ownership, with the Lab treated as an area of special importance to the future of the department and Agency. Moreover, the "process owner" must buy in. A Lab will be successful only to the extend that the belief and enthusiasm of the person in charge of the Labs activities is certain. Also, every member of the Lab must get involved as a valued and enthusiastic contributor.
  • Create a "win/win" environment. Risk taking has to be encouraged, and a "safe harbor" for innovation established. Only by taking risks and seeking opportunities can the Reinvention Lab learn and succeed. Also, the Labs need to challenge cumbersome and needless rules, regulations, procedures and traditions that stand in the way of superior performance and results.
  • Celebrate and publicize successes. Spotlight heroes and let people tell their stories. This is not only for recognition and publicity, and allows other reinventing organizations and activities learn and progress from their experiences, successes, and failures.
  • Maximize "doing" and minimize "reporting". Let the Labs spend their time reinventing instead of continually reporting on what they are doing. Although the Labs have a responsibility to share their experiences, endless progress reporting will detract from the reinvention that has to take place.
  • Adopt a strategy for long-term change. We need to cross-fertilize and apply Lab lessons and innovations within other parts of the department or agency, as well as across the rest of government.

The role of the Reinvention Labs is critical as we create a government that works better and costs less. At the Reinvention Revolution Conference in March 1996, Vice President Gore said:

"Your role as reinvention labs is absolutely critical as we move forward. You are on the front lines. You are learning the most valuable lesson and passing on the answers to everyone else. You deal directly with customers and taxpayers, providing assistance and carrying out critical government responsibilities."

The Reinvention Labs create an environment where Federal workers and their partners have the freedom to experiment, and can showcase innovation and results. At this same Conference, Vice President Gore referred to the Reinvention Labs as our "beacons" who will guide the rest of us to a new, reinvented, common-sense government.





Partnerships between government agencies and private for-profit and non-profit organizations have proven to be an effective tool for planning and implementing programs. Public-private partnerships have been working effectively for many years. Susan and Norma Fainstein in their research of "Public-Private Partnerships for Urban (Re) Development in the United States" note that the original federal urban renewal legislation in 1949 provided for locally operated redevelopment authorities (public agencies) to acquire land using powers of eminent domain and then to sell the land at a reduced price to private corporations for development.

As economic growth has slowed and government resources have become more limited, public-private partnerships have formed to undertake projects that had previously been funded by the federal government. The Fainsteins' research indicates that during the years when Ronald Reagan was president, the federal government began a policy of decentralization and deregulation. Funding for many categorical entitlement urban development and social service programs was eliminated and block grants were provided to states and localities to be used at their discretion. At that time, the Fainsteins report, the use of public-private partnerships changed in nature. Private for-profit and not-for profit corporations began to negotiate partnerships undertaking economic development and affordable housing rehabilitation and construction projects in exchange for tax incentives, subsidies, or future profits.

Corporations have established foundations and made corporate donations as a way of projecting a caring, community-spirited image. This serves as an advertizing tool, often softening a harsher public image of the industry, at the same time it achieves a public good.



The above is the history and game plan of incremental fascism.  Ronald Reagan was the spokesman for General Electric between 1954 and 1962.  He was hired by Lemuel Boulware, master propagandist for the war production department during World War II.  "What's good for GE is good for you".   That is the bedrock Republican philosophy.  And the "reinvention of government" project was the grand finale - destruction of government for the people - replaced by unimpeded fascism.  The fact that Gore and Clinton were wearing the Blue Hats should be considered proof that our entire political system is a fraud.  We have had one-party rule,  Demo-publi-crats since at least World War II.

The international trade agreements to export our economy and to crush the American middle class makes sense in this context.  Eliminating the tax base (jobs for American workers), gave more power to the corporations and their Foundations - weakening state and local governments forcing them to acquiesce to corporate, fascist rule.

Continued from link above...




Examples of partnerships between government agencies are abundant. The federal Environmental Protection Agency and the corresponding Texas state office are working together to allow flexible application of federal pesticide regulations. Local farmers benefit from having regulations developed specifically for their locality, that do not require costly and unnecessary actions not applicable to local conditions...


Regional partnerships have been developed among state and local governments to provide services jointly, transfer functions from one level of local government to another, (i.e., town to city or county), purchase services or natural resources, protect the environment, or otherwise accomplish mutually beneficial goals in a collaborative manner.


Cross border, cross jurisdictional boundary "partnerships" form the shadow government.  Your elected public officials become nothing more than actors in a play within the facade of representative government while the real power resides in the unseen, unknown regional organizations that include the fascist corporations and their front groups - the non-profits and Foundations. 



Vicky Davis,
December 21, 2010