The featured speaker at a recent conference on “Excellence in Government,” was the secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack.
As Eric Katz of Government Executive (sponsor of the conference) writes, the secretary argued:
One of federal government’s biggest flaws is a failure to market what it does well …
Government’s inability to promote itself and the work it does takes away from its ability to accomplish its mission … When the story gets altered, a new narrative is written that paints government as inefficient and federal employees as bad at their jobs
One wonders if, perhaps, the problem might not be so much perception as denial. Government, like it sometimes partner, General Motors, is too big and treats customer dissatisfaction with indifference and, on occasion, outright hostility. Bad ignitions in millions of cars? Not worth fixing; but keep it quiet. Dangerous backlogs at VA hospitals? Doctor the paperwork; not the patients.
In his speech, the secretary of agriculture said that he was “a little tired of the constant criticism heaped on government.”
Former Secretary Sebelius no doubt agrees.
It is so unfair.