This book exposes the reality that our twentieth-century government is no match for twenty-first-century problems and proposes a solution.
Kettl's cogent and unbiased analysis of the failure of government institutions posits that current challenges, whether in health care or disaster response, have outgrown the capacity of monolithic government agencies, even while the size of government continues to swell. Kettl (The Transformation of Governance) observes that "a bigger government with more shared responsibility has created a system in which no one is fully accountable for anything government does." He presents a balanced and unpartisan analysis of the Hurricane Katrina debacle, examining human error and generations of poor decision making as well as the intricacies of federalism and the organizational complexity of government institutions. According to the author, there exists a disconnect between how policy is executed, who is responsible and how institutions should share responsibility. Adapting institutions to current problems (and not the other way around) is a necessary change in mindset, Kettle argues, and crucial to greater government accountability, the overarching challenge for future leaders. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.