At BYU's Romney Institute of Public Management
According to U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, Americans are poor at saving, but great at spending and running up debt, and the United States government is not setting a good example.
Brigham Young University’s Romney Institute of Public Management at the Marriott School of Management named Walker its 2006 Administrator of the Year, the top annual honor given by the institute.
In his recent acceptance speech, the federal official, who approves the government’s annual audit report, said the nation’s financial condition is much worse than advertised. He told students and faculty that Americans have shrugged off financial warnings for years, and our politicians’ ‘don’t worry, be happy’ attitude is offering a false sense of security.
“People are focused on today instead of planning for tomorrow, and that includes our leaders,” Walker said. “We are desperately in need of leaders who have the courage to put the needs of the next generation ahead of the next election cycle. If we can fulfill our responsibilities to our country and our children with integrity, I believe we will meet our challenges with success.”
Walker, who is in the middle of a 15-year term as the nation’s chief accountability officer, concluded his remarks optimistically, encouraging future generations to acknowledge the reality of the government’s financial crisis, and to be courageously proactive about finding solutions.
Romney Institute director Gary Cornia is impressed with Walker’s perspective. “This is a very important man who doesn’t act very important,” he explains. “His impeccable honesty and work ethic provide a wonderful example for BYU students.”
The Romney Institute has presented the Administrator of the Year award annually since 1972. Institute faculty nominate and select an outstanding man or woman who has achieved distinction after many years in public sector management.
Past recipients include Charlie E. Johnson, CFO of the Environmental Protection Agency; Neal A. Maxwell, former commissioner of education for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and Elliott Richardson, former U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of Treasury.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the Romney Institute as the Administrator of the Year.” Walker said. “In my position I've tried to partner with others, practice what I preach and lead by example to bring about needed changes inside and outside of government.”
For a transcript of Walker’s speech, visit http://www.gao.gov/cghome/byu.pdf.
The Romney Institute of Public Management was named in 1998 for three-term Michigan Governor George W. Romney. The institute offers a master’s degree in public administration through both pre-service and executive programs.
Writer: Derek Westra