Partnered Government: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts
By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn
The 21st century has ushered in a series of major challenges for our country. The list is staggering, and includes, most importantly, national security; but the other challenges are near equal in importance: health care, energy, environment, education, aging infrastructure, and the fiscal crisis, to name a few. Most, if not all, of these challenges are complex and largely open-ended. In order to respond to these challenges, federal agencies will need to create solutions, often in areas generally unfamiliar to public entities. As a result, federal agencies will need to partner with private and non-profit entities to develop and manage these solutions, and to provide the resultant services – with, of course, the government in the management and oversight role (as the ultimately responsible party, but with significant support from the private and non-profit sectors). Much of the government’s work is already done through this type of partnering.
“Partnered government” is a broad term we use to refer to this joining up of different government agencies with one another, as well as with the private sector and non-profit sector. These relationships are based on a shared set of goals and objectives that give direction to member activities. They also have a shared “worldview” and awareness, that allows them to see the dynamic external environment in a consistent manner and better respond to challenges as they arise. This report is concerned with the partnering of the public and private sectors within the federal government, with a particular focus on the Department of Defense.