Learning the right lessons from a failure is the first step towards improving future performance, in life, in business and especially in government. As we discussed earlier, the most important aspect of the government's oversight of the safety of offshore drilling rigs may have been the merger of two conflicting tasks, safety and revenue collection, in the same agency.
The AP is now reporting that the administration is looking into splitting the Minerals Management Services into two different agencies centered around these very different tasks. As we learned last week, the British took a similar step years ago, and improved their safety record as well. Even if the Wall Street Journal didn't seem to get it quite right when it wrote its headline, Department of Interior Ken Salazar seems to understand.