quality management in government

The practice of quality management in government is relatively new and has followed on decades of experience in quality management in private sector value creation. It is more difficult because the ecological and social indicators used to assess "progress" in government are more complex than the merely financial indicators required to assess corporate progress - see triple bottom line.


Specific quality management techniques applicable to government include:

in Canada

In Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities runs the FCM infra effort, and the PSAB is responsible for appropriate accounting reforms to account properly for the impact of improvements. See PSAB capital asset standard for one of the most important aspects of accounting requiring reform.

in US

The Kennedy School of Government researches applicable techniques including continuous municipal performance audit such as the accountability sessions used in Baltimore CitiStat.

Because of the collaborative ethic with which it has been developed, agencies and governments are increasingly concerned with open source - a royal libertarian model - and free software - a form of communism. See problems with free software and open source models.

Software has increasingly become a commodity. To accelerate that trend, the Government Open Source Collaborative gocc.gov - GOCC founded by Peter Quinn, CIA, MA, US "isn't out to challenge the commercial software industry but to take advantage of government innovation so that "we as technologists can finally break the back of the ineffectiveness, the inefficiency and the stupidity of the silos of information in government." http://www.govtech.net/magazine/channel_story.php?channel=24&id=92827

He argued that "the cost of government" will doom it without such measures, and that sharing is the answer: "if one state developed a better electronic licensing system or voter registration system using open source and then shared it with other states, it was "an exercise in democracy through the exchange of information in an open society underpinned by reliable technology."


Perhaps the most advanced work is in the UK. The UK Local E-democracy national pilot projects are all open source.


Steven Clift argues that "democracy-related services, from constituent communication systems to blogs for elected officials, are an ideal starting point... the key barrier to overcome is the cost to share and document. One government cannot justify subsidizing value for another peer government unless the resources come from the national level or unless a number of governments contribute and accept the notion that free riders are OK, in fact cherished because they build developer momentum for their code base."

Accordingly, he runs a service to enable wider exchange. See dowire.org for ongoing tracking of global civic best practice and wiki best practices relating to e-democracy and e-government.