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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Think tanks help managers prepare for presidential transition

To help federal managers prepare for the transition to a new administration, a number of think tanks are launching reports, blogs, seminars and other resources.

Nonprofit groups, and not-for-profit wings of big companies have been around for decades, dating back to the founding of the National Academy of Public Administration in the 1960s. But many of them have recently stepped up their involvement with federal agencies. And that trend will continue in the coming years.

The Association of Government Accountants, for example, focuses on financial management. One of the newer groups, Partnership for Public Service — founded in 2001 — is trying to address human resources challenges, particularly the upcoming wave of baby-boomer retirements.

Beyond their research, many of these organizations say their greatest accomplishment is raising awareness of management issues — focusing not just on policy, but process as well.

Managers at these organizations say they’re focused on two major challenges: the upcoming presidential transition, and the baby-boomer retirement wave. The retirement crisis is a longer-term problem, but many groups are trying to give it a higher profile. The Partnership for Public Service has been holding forums for career employees across the country, and the group plans to use feedback from those employees to compile a report for the incoming administration.

-Gregg Carlstrom, FederalTimes.com

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