Publication Date

January 1995


In their current bestseller, Reinventing Government, David Osborne and Ted Gaebler have attempted to provide a "map" of entrepreneurial government by suggesting new ways of delivering public services. One of their basic principles, entitled "Enterprising Government: Earning Rather Than Spending," argues that a profit oriented mentality can translate into more efficient and client-driven services. They provide several examples of successful government competition with the private sector, development deals, and the introduction of user fees. Not surprisingly, their arguments are similar to those presented in recent years by archivists when they debate funding issues. This author wonders how far we have come from the "quiet, pleasant and powerless" individuals that the 1985 SM Task Force on Archives and Society described; the "resourceful ferrets" that a Canadian government official once referred to; and the persons of "impotent virtue" caricatured by David Gracy in a number of his writings.



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