We the Partnership

The Three Big Mistakes in the 2020 Plum Book

For most people, the only way to find out who is serving in the top decision-making positions in government is to reference the 2020 Plum Book. Unfortunately, this document has significant procedural and factual problems and could be greatly improved.

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Improving the Plum Book: The Need to Modernize Information about Federal Leadership

The Plum Book is the most comprehensive source about officials serving in the federal government. It contains information on more than 4,000 political appointees–1,200 of whom are subject to Senate confirmation–along with thousands of other jobs filled by senior career officials in the federal civil service. Unfortunately, the Plum Book has been produced largely the same way since 1952, and should be modernized to provide greater transparency and accountability.

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A novel approach to budgeting for government modernization – ideas for new leaders

One of the first major policy requirements for any new president is to submit a budget proposal to Congress. For recently elected administrations, this budget is usually presented in February—less than a month into a first term—followed by a more detailed request later in the spring. Presidential transition teams often begin preparing their budget proposals before inauguration.

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