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Balancing Management Reform:
The HUD 2020 Experience

When Andrew Cuomo took over as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he faced the challenge of restoring the reputation of a department. HUDís reputation was one of mismanagement at best and malfeasance at worst. Secretary Cuomo set out to change HUD and restore the publicís trust in a department established to serve Americaís neediest populations.

In order to achieve this, he would need to accomplish a major transformation of the Departmentís programs and management operations.

His defining principles for this transformation were:

  • No givens
  • Distinct business lines w/core purpose of each organization within HUD
  • Need to match workload with workforce and skill with service
  • Measure and reward performance
  • Create changes with most leverage
  • Examine privatization opportunities
  • Master and utilize new technologies

Extensive consultations were held with customers and stakeholders at all levels. One of HUDís problems is that their product delivery is frequently through third parties (e.g. state/local governments, community groups). The way HUD delivers its services and the speed of its processing impact the "middle manís" capabilities.

Major dysfunctions were identified by "change agents" (employees/customers):

  • Proliferation of boutique programs
  • Organized by program rather than function
  • Process rather than performance emphasis
  • Mismatched workload and workforce
  • Management information systems not integrated, accurate, reliable or timely
  • Organizational structure had ineffective relationships between HQ and field
  • Workforce had confusing mandates
  • Stewardship of public fund was not a priority

As a result of this consultation effort, primary management reforms were set into motion:

  • Reorganization by function rather than program; consolidate and/or privatize
  • Modernize/integrate HUDís outdated financial management systems
  • Create enforcement authority with one objective: restore public trust
  • Refocus and retrain HUDís workforce to carry out our revitalized mission
  • Establish performance-based systems for HUD programs, operations, employees
  • Replace HUDís top-own bureaucracy with new customer friendly structure

Keeping in mind the primary responsibility of the Department: (quote from enacting legislation), the HUD mission became two-fold, (1) empowering people and communities; and (2) restoring the public trust.

The Secretary set out its primary objectives, based on HUDís business lines and, having established these objectives, HUD set about to restructure itself to deliver services in a more efficient and effective manner.

Established six strategic objectives (based on Strategic Planning Process):

  • Fighting for fair housing
  • Increasing affordable housing and homeownership
  • Reducing homelessness
  • Promoting jobs and economic opportunity
  • Empowering people and communities
  • Restoring public trust

The Business and Operating Plan (BOP) was established

  • Based in Strategic Plan/Annual Performance Plan (roll down from and roll up to)
  • Prime directive for work planning and management in Department

The development process included review and examination of

  • HUD mission
  • HUDís Customers
  • Programs, products and services
  • Processes and linkages across major program operations and organizations

Next steps have included:

  • Alignment of strategic objectives with:
    • major management reforms
    • new organizations
    • operations
    • programs
    • services
  • Development of quantitative goals at all levels of program delivery
  • Development of a workload planning and customer service delivery approach
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