Over the course of the year, Barrett and Greene produce somewhere between 42 and 50 pieces of journalistic, published work. Most are columns or articles; some are reports, written for such organizations as The Volcker Alliance and the IBM Center for the Business of Government. Following are the most recent:
How to Fairly Use Algorithms to Make Tough Decisions, Route Fifty, December 3, 2020
Why the Phrase Best Practices Makes Us Jittery, IBM Center for the Business of Government, November 12, 2020
Bad Data: A Giant Challenge to Management, Budgeting and Policy, Government Finance Review, October 2020 (see page 76)
How Local and State Governments are Meeting the Employee Benefit Challenge, HR News, October 2020 (reprinted by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence)
More Columns from Route Fifty
State procurement departments have been front and center during the pandemic. Once the crisis wanes, focus on procurement may diminish, but officials say it needs ongoing high-level attention.
Centralizing State IT Functions Gains Momentum, April 23, 2021
Connecticut is building an information technology organization within its government, joining a number of other states consolidating people, hardware and software to reduce costs and inefficiencies.
Without a vote, the legislative leadership in North Carolina closed the state’s program evaluation division. Experts say the growing power of legislative leaders presents an accelerating danger for transparent, publicly available evaluation.
What Can Parks Do When Demand Rises as Budgets Decline, March 29, 2021
Though there may be greater appreciation for the nation’s parks, many are still fighting for funding. Some states are finding solutions.
Intergovernmental relations are never easy. But they’re vital when confronting the logistical nightmare of inoculating a nation.
Equity Budgeting in Cities: Directing Dollars Where They're Needed Most, February 19, 2021
A growing number of cities are turning to their budget offices to help treat historically underserved communities more fairly.
Paid Sick Leave and the Prolonged Pandemic, January 29, 2021
How Downtowns Can Rebound After the Pandemic, January 12, 2021
They have to offer more than office space.
Adequately staffing emergency medical services has been a problem for some time, potentially putting lives at stake. The pandemic threatens to make shortages worse.
As society debates law enforcement reform, far better data is necessary to provide a roadmap for future changes.
The Draining of State Rainy Day Funds, October 14, 2020
At least ten states have already tapped their emergency reserves, even as budget experts expect the worst revenue declines caused by the coronavirus pandemic to come in the months and years ahead.
Why We Need to Pay Attention to Police Officers' Mental Health, October 9, 2020
A new study found that as police are under more scrutiny than ever, their mental health struggles remain profound.
Shrinking State and Local Government Office Space, September 9, 2020
With state and local officials searching for ways to cut budgets, many are looking to reduce how much real estate they occupy.
What Happens Next With Affordable Housing? August 20, 2020
States and local governments already haven't been investing enough to help build housing that poor families, and even middle class families, can afford. And now funding could be yet another victim of the coronavirus.
The Escalating Crisis in Police Hiring, August 6, 2020
As revenues drop and passionate debates over police mission, budget and purpose continue, cities still face the arduous task of recruiting top-notch candidates.
The Poor Performance of Performance Contracts, July 21, 2020
States and local governments have embraced "performance contracts," requiring contractors to meet certain objectives. Too often, however, they don't actually check on the success in meeting these goals.
Can Civilian Oversight Change Police Behavior, July 9, 2020
Cities across the country are looking at creating police oversight bodies. That makes questions about their efficacy and value more important than ever.
Kansas City Employees: 'Please Don't Rush To Reopen . . .', June 17, 2020
What are public sector employee concerns about the return to work? Kansas City has a better idea than many other local governments based on multiple employee surveys.
Pandemic Aid: What Can We Learn From the 2009 Stimulus, June 10, 2020
Fiscal stability will be more attainable by paying attention to experts who helped the country out of the Great Recession.
Faced with fears of contagion and shortages of personal protective equipment, home and community care workers and providers struggle to serve a vulnerable population.
An interview about the challenges faced by human resource directors.
State and local governments confront multiple technology security issues as they deal with proliferating attacks and a disease-transformed work environment.
How to avoid certain pitfalls now that many -- or most -- employees must now work from home.
How Ghosting Afflicts Public Sector Recruitment, March 15, 2020
Too often that perfect candidate just disappears.
Nowhere is good information about operations more critical than in prisons and jails. But too often states simply lack the kind of data that holds officials accountable.
In certain places opponents to new school taxes are finding success in courting older voters.
Whistleblowing Isn't Just a Federal Issue, January 28, 2020
An interview about the first comprehensive study of state whistleblower laws and how they protect -- or don't protect -- people who report wrongdoing.
How Governments are Recruiting Young Workers, January 14, 2020
From initiatives that allow new parents to bring babies to work to upgraded facilities, state and local governments are aiming to compete with the private sector.
What Stands Between Young People and Local Government Jobs?, December 23, 2019
Many millennials or members of Generation Z are interested in meaningful work that can help improve people's lives, but they don't necessarily see government jobs in that light.
Too Many Drugs, Too Little Data, December 9, 2019
How the fight against drug abuse has both been hampered and helped by data collection and analysis.
The economy continues to grow, yet cities anticipate revenue problems. How can both be true?
What can governments do to recruit and keep the "first" first responders?
When the Savings Don't Materialize, October 22, 2019
Sometimes, state and local governments don't end up seeing the savings they've hoped for. Then what happens?
Articles from Government Finance Review
Whither Telework, Post Pandemic? August 2020
Cybersecurity -- It's All About Relationships, June 2020
Letting the Citizens Help Run the Store, April 2020
Articles from HR News
THE B&G HR REPORT:
The B&G HR Report for July 2020 issue | Safety in Numbers: The Power of Data to Protect Public Sector Workers (available to IPMA-HR members).
THE B&G HR Report for February 2020 issue | In Workforce Planning Data is King (available to IPMA-HR members). Reprinted in our IBM Center blog with permission from HR News. (See below)
Blog posts from the IBM Center for the Business of Government
Results-Driven Telework, June 4, 2020
Mousetraps for flawed data, November 11, 2019
Reports written for the Volcker Alliance
50 States are graded on budget practices and transparency, February 2020
Steps states can take to better prepare for the next recession.
50 states are graded on budget practices and transparency, December 2018.
50 States are graded on budget practices and transparency, November 2017.
An annotated reference guide to state budgets, financial reports, and fiscal analyses.
Best practices in state budget transparency
Lessons from three states: California, New Jersey and Virginia
The Great Overtime Dilemma, Kronos, 2020
Off to a Running State Capital Start: A Transition Guide for New Governors and Their Teams. The IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2018
Columns from Governing
Pilot programs don't always fly right. (The last column we wrote for Governing magazine, which stopped publication following the September issue.)
Small test runs can help an entity avoid big mistakes, but there's an art to getting meaningful results.
Sometimes attempts to collaborate create unforeseen problems.
Performance data hasn't worked out the way it was intended.
Only one has a cabinet level official dedicated to the issue.
Lawmakers increased wages and benefits for teachers, state workers and first responders in nearly twenty states this legislative session.
Local governments are offering employees home loans and even housing if they reside among the people they serve.
They’re putting more emphasis on applicants’ emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
How governments are coping with health and safety threats to their workers.
Governments are changing the frequency of performance evaluations, who receives them and what they’re assessing.
For years, hundreds of cities and counties have been saving money by letting their employees use cheaper drugs from other countries.
The way governments are measuring results is becoming kinder — and more effective.
Without enough volunteers to respond to emergencies, some fire departments are cutting services or even shutting down. Most are changing the way they recruit.
Local governments are using Internet surveys to better gauge residents needs.
The state has made a number of key reforms to streamline its recruiting and hiring. One big change? Using plain English.
A new study shows the depth — and the root causes — of the public sector’s workforce problem.
This form of pay inequity, referred to as salary inversion, can make it difficult to fill supervisory positions.
The amount of missing and unusable public sector data is stunning.
Protesting teachers likely won’t be the only public employees who see pay raises and workplace improvements this year.
The government shutdown exposed the financial insecurity and stress of many public servants.
It’s getting harder for the people who check up on government to do their job.
Women are less likely than men to aspire for and occupy top jobs. They’re also less optimistic about their chances of moving up at all.
To address sexual harassment, it needs to be reported. State employees have been hesitant to do that.
Once used mostly to manage infrastructure, GIS now deals with all kinds of data.
As Maryland has learned, it’s crucial to know the costs of proposed legislation.
The Supreme Court’s ruling was expected to diminish union membership. But so far, many unions have actually increased their numbers. Conservative groups are working to reverse that trend in the long run.
For one, don’t assume the last governor’s appointees want to leave.
Ironically, it can happen because managers skip steps in an effort to go faster.
The state’s new approach to the workplace goes far beyond traditional telecommuting. It’s not only making employees and managers happier, it’s saving the state millions of dollars.
The governor wants to downsize the number of cabinet agencies by more than half — without laying people off.
Graphic displays of data are useful only if they’re seen.
At a time of low unemployment, both kinds of employers are beefing up their perks.
The digital age, new laws and recent events have created tension between government transparency and the privacy of the people who work for it.
A year filled with teachers’ strikes and sexual harassment scandals has led candidates for governor to talk more about how they would treat their state’s workforce.
North Carolina Republicans overrode the Democratic governor to increase some state employees’ pay. What led to this unexpected decision?
There’s a long list of government agencies that have fudged numbers in misleading ways.
Features from Governing
Many U.S. cities make an effort to use the goods and services of companies in their own city limits. It has some troubling side effects.
As states and localities have tried to modeThe Taxing Problem of an Aging Populationrnize the way they attract and retain public workers, some proven practices have emerged.
States and Localities are embracing the promise of big data. But just how good is the information they’re collecting in the first place?
Equipt to Innovate Columns, A Living Cities/Governing partnership
How Grand Rapids is sharing information to boost transparency and solve city problems.
The latest top performers from Equipt to Innovate made strides in addressing racial disparities and engaging residents.
Getting buy-in from employees leads to greater productivity — and upward opportunity.
Creating a race-informed city requires a broad range of approaches.
Cities have come a long way in using data to inform decision-making, but progress can still be made.
Reports written for The Council of State Governments
A comprehensive look at the steps state governments can take to increase civic knowledge
Columns from Capitol Ideas – Council of State Governments
How demographic changes are affecting home ownership. (see p. 12)
How will falling fertility rates influence the economy of the future? (see p. 12)
States need to invest billions in deferred maintenance, but need better data on what, where and how to spend.
A heavy reliance on federal dollars keeps budget officers awake at night.
The little-discussed effect of aging’s impact on state revenues.
These potent tools for evaluating the impact on health of governmental policy decisions have the potential to save lives, health and even money.
Gathering data to deal with law enforcement is becoming ubiquitous and many states and localities have started to gather and analyze all kinds of interactions between the police and the citizenry above and beyond simple arrest rates.
Although state governments are floating in a sea of data, the management and governance of this new kind of asset has tended to be weak, and sometimes close to nonexistent
Barrett and Greene read the crystal ball and speculate about the issues that were going to be of highest importance in 2016
Posts to Re:Cap, a publication of the Fels Institute of Government
Sure there are problems, but government successes should be getting equal coverage
Lessons about managing performance from our day-to-day lives
The disconcerting shift in how government officials and journalists relate to each other
Columns from the Association of Local Government Auditors
Why performance auditors can be among the best sources for information about states and localities
Articles from the PATIMES, American Society for Public Administration
The growing impact of an aging population on state revenues