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1998-02-11 10:21:36


A Terminally Naive Government Official: "No Excuses for Failure!"



Franklin Raines runs the Office of Management and Budget. He has laid down the law: Federal agencies will meet the y2k deadline, or else. Or else what? Or else cabinet members will be held responsible.

Oh? By whom? Surely not by Mr. Raines, who has no authority over them. By the President, then? Will Mr. Clinton still be in office in 2000? And if he is, will he be busy? Will he fire them? If so, so what? They wiill be leaving a lame duck President's sinking ship. If he survives until inauguration day, 2001, his cabinet members will be leaving office anyway.

Mr. Raines says, "No excuses." In the history of civil government, I can remember no more naive statement. All civil governments are run by excuses. Excuses are the heart, mind, and soul of civil government. Take away excuses, and we would have no civil government.

This story is from FEDERAL COMPUTER NEWS (Feb. 9).

* * * * *

Franklin Raines, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told attendees at the Virtual Government '98 conference here that government must learn to fundamentally change the experience of its customer at the point of sale-whether that is collecting taxes or delivering veterans benefits. And, he added, "the largest single stumbling block to accomplishing that goal is Year 2000."

As part of OMB's new emphasis on Y2K issues, Cabinet members will be held personally responsible for how their agencies handle the problem, he emphasized. "Y2K is Priority 1," Raines said. "We will not accept as an excuse that agencies did not have the resources to fix the problem."


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