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Who is a public manager?

FOR MOST OF THE 30 YEARS I spent in government, I thought the answer to this question was: any government agency employee. Well, as I neared retirement from public service in the mid-1990S, it dawned on me that with all the downsizing and concomitant outsourcing going on, government agencies had lots of contractors working alongside civil servants managing tasks no longer considered inherently governmental. It's also not escaped my notice that over the past 30 years or so, what with the devolution of responsibility from federal to state and local government, and the alternative sourcing that has occurred at these levels, more and more community-based nonprofits have been added to the mix of at least quasi-public managers. After all, it has become increasingly more likely that an employee of a nonprofit organization will provide direct, face-to-face services to public program participants than will an employee of a government agency. Just consider such ubiquitious programs as Project Head Start, Meals on Wheels, Runaway Youth Shelters, Community Development Block Grants, Community Mental Health Services, etc.
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Title Annotation:The Manager Musings
Author:Master, Warren
Publication:The Public Manager
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2003
Previous Article:FEIAA's Executive of the Year. (Executive Forum).
Next Article:Mini-forum on community-based nonprofits.

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