Performance-Based Organizations: Assessing the Gore Plan
Alasdair S. Roberts
Truman School of Public Affairs
June 30, 1997
Public Administration Review, Vol. 57, No. 6, pp. 465-478, December 1997
In March 1996, Vice-President Gore unveiled a plan to "dramatically change" parts of the federal bureaucracy by converting them into "performance-based organizations", or PBOs. PBOs would be given more freedom in operations and held accountable for the achievement of specified results. While the PBO plan may improve effectiveness in some parts of the federal government, claims about its significance have been overstated, and it will encounter serious challenges in implementation. The PBO model is not likely to be applied widely. The paper also assesses the significance of the PBO proposal as a part of a larger battle to preserve the administrative capabilities of the federal government. Finally, it is argued that the proposal is evidence of the increasing internationalization of the "reinventing government" movement. The weakness of the PBO plan reflects some of the weaknesses of the larger international reform movement.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: Reinvention, restructuring, performance based organizations, executive agencies, accountability, United States, United Kingdom
Date posted: December 1, 2008
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