Analysis: For How Long Can Feds ‘Do More With Less’?

March 28, 2013

The “do more with less” mantra is nothing new to government employees. While there is often a cry for less government, the truth is that most Americans want government that costs less, not government that does less. So government employees have now gone over two years without pay increases and had to endure numerous program cuts in the name of fiscal responsibility. While “doing more with less” may seem admirable, it may actually be harming employee productivity and driving a lower return on investment of taxpayer dollars.

Sometimes the best way to tell a story is by starting at the end. This story ends with productivity growth rates that have been declining for the past decade (see below.) While growth rates are still technically growing, a 0.3 percent productivity growth rate for 2012 is still cause for concern. New internet based collaboration technologies, flexible schedules, mobile devices, cloud computing and much more should be driving greater productivity growth. Yet here we are, almost five years into a recession with long-term productivity decreases.

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