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Deputy Secretary Gould Talks Strategies for Federal Performance
Date:10/5/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs W. Scott Gould told federal government managers at an "Excellence in Government" conference today that translating the skills of political campaigning into governance is a major challenge many newly appointed agency leaders face in implementing the President's reform agenda.

"President Obama and Secretary Shinseki have committed resources and capital to invest in delivering high quality services and benefits to our Veterans," Deputy Secretary Gould said. "Transforming the department begins with leveraging the power of information technology, which will dramatically improve our business processes."

Gould was a panelist with other Cabinet-level deputy secretaries discussing management of the government's reform at an annual conference organized by Government Executive magazine. Called "Driving Federal Performance," the conference aims to inform civilian and military officials about top administration issues and best practices to adopt.

Gould said one of his roles as VA's chief operations officer is to synchronize the individual objectives of the Department's separate organizations to achieve the results he and Secretary Shinseki are working towards as advocates for Veterans. Among those, he said, are delivering new education benefits in a timely way, eradicating homelessness among Veterans, improving mental health outreach, eliminating a disability claims backlog, expanding access to health care for Veterans previously dropped from the medical system and improving the technology infrastructure.

In the few months of the President's administration, Gould said he has been challenged to hire many key leaders in VA top positions whom he will rely on to compress the strategic management timeframe. Sometimes they have had to make decisions with uncertain financial and performance information. Gould said their relationships with
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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