A Case Study in U.S. Government Financial Management in Cross-Disciplinary Teams
9 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2003
Following the example of the private sector, the public sector in the United States has been undergoing process-reengineering, most notable in the Federal Government with the National Performance Review (NPR). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) asked its overseas missions for volunteer participation as Country Experimental Laboratories (CELs) during USAID's NPR efforts. USAID/Senegal, in French West Africa, became a CEL in the spring of 1994. The reengineering, occurring over a two-year period, created multi-disciplinary teams centered around Strategic Objectives (SOs). This article describes the experience and lessons learned from developing and implementing financial management policies and procedures to support the SO Teams, while concurrently ensuring that accountability requirements were met. The article uses the case study format, delineating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the Mission Controller, the trade-offs between the decentralization of program management and accountability, and the organizational relationships established to reengineer the financial management processes at USAID/Senegal.
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