National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Table of Contents

Chapter 1


Are you a bureaucrat? You might be if ...

  • Your FTE can't find the RFP on the IRP and the CRP for the EPA and the NWS or—even without the CDAs— the JIB and CENTCOM PAQ briefing shows there are 9 KIA, 6 WIA, and 2 MIA.
  • An agency reorganization would negatively impact your functional capabilities to provide essential services
  • You ask for comments from interested people, but never tell those who aren't interested where to send theirs.
  • You use your compensatory time to study beach renourishment in a coastal management are, rather than taking a vacation at the seaside.
  • When someone asks you what you do for a living, you say you "develop and implement policy."
  • There are pavement deficiencies in the streets, rather than potholes.
  • Your program depopulates animals with contagious diseases, rather than killing them.
  • Your agency repositions, reduces duplications, focuses reductions, downsizes, right-sizes, out-source human resources, or talks about the human side of downsizing, rather than firing or laying off employees.
  • You used the words programs and procedure more than 100 times each in your annual report.
  • You're politically correct, but your temperamentally challenged supervisor thins you have an attitudinal impairment and an intellectual deviciency.
  • Moral: Not only does relying on jargon give you a wrong image—it makes you hard to understand. Use Plain Language (
"We can lick gravity, but the paperwork is overwhelming."

-Wernher von Braun

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