Resident Management System (RMS) Solutions

As the US government seeks to fulfill its purpose of safeguarding the freedom and well-being of its citizens, it operates in a world fraught with risk. Government departments and agencies face enormous risks every day, and the role of most government institutions is implicitly or explicitly rooted in managing risks that the private sector is either not equipped or not willing to take—everything from unsafe food and medicine that the Food and Drug Administration must police to the hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans that Federal Student Aid oversees and the threat of terrorism that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must constantly counter.

Yet, for a long time, risk management was an often-overlooked bit player on the grand stage of both business and government. Only recently—particularly within the last three years—has it come to the forefront of public debate, owing to risk management failures that had shocking and widespread ripple effects, such as the Bernard Madoff fraud scandal, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the housing crisis. Such failures often lead to costly government interventions and increased government risks. For example, the housing crisis has led to capital infusions of more than $150 billion for government-sponsored enterprises and to insurance exposures spiking to approximately $1 trillion at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

By its nature, risk management comes under scrutiny only when it fails. The catastrophic consequences of faulty risk management are newsworthy, but the daily successes of robust risk management are not—thus making it difficult for risk managers to get a permanent seat at the decision-making table. After all, who would have worried about the swine flu had it not threatened to become a pandemic? Would the National Aeronautic and Space Administration have the same risk management controls in place today had it not lost two space shuttles? The crises of the past few years have served as a call to action, and some institutions have taken steps to strengthen their risk-management practices.

The direct benefits of strengthening public-sector risk management align with the government’s goals of minimizing waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. With a clearer understanding of the risks involved in agencies’ missions and a greater ability to estimate the true subsidy costs of its programs, the US government will be able to make more prudent use of taxpayer money. More effective risk-related controls will also enable government institutions to better prevent, detect, and mitigate instances of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.

While such efforts are important steps in the right direction, much work remains to ensure long-lasting and robust risk management in public-sector institutions. The task is arguably harder in the public sector than it is in the private sector, in large part due to challenges that are specific to government. Our workshop presents an array of Critical Path Method scheduling techniques and tools with emphasis for government contractors working on United States Army Corps of Engineers projects.

 

Related Practices

Managing strategy and stakeholders includes ensuring continuous alignment of the project with the business strategy and value objectives, detailed analysis of stakeholder positions, vendor management, and proactive risk identification and mitigation.

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