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January 2016
"Preventing Harm--A Discussion with Malcolm Sparrow"

A video interview recorded by the Victoria Managed Insurance Authority during Professor Sparrow's visit to Australia in November 2015 is presented via YouTube. You can download a copy of the video here.
Health Care Fraud: Media accounts quoting Malcolm Sparrow, or citing his work include:

January 11, 2016: Pacific Standard Magazine: "Glitch in the Machine" Joe Eaton
November 4, 2015: CNBC: "The pain killer: A drug company putting profits above patients" Dina Gusovsky
June 2015: AARP Bulletin: "New Medicare Scams Spread Across U.S." Tom Dunkel
May 18,2015: The Complete Colorado: "Colorado invites Medicaid Fraud" Linda Gorman
Spring 2015: Criminal Justice, American Bar Association: "Health Care Fraud" Kirk Ogrosky
April 23, 2015: NPR: "More Whistleblowers Say Health Plans Are Gouging Medicare" Fred Schulte
April 23, 2015: The Center for Public Integrity: "Medicare Advantage Money Grab" Fred Schulte
March 24, 2015: The Harvard Law Record: "20 Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime" R. Mokhiber
January 13, 2015: Mercatus Center, GMU: "Is Federal Spending Too Big to be Overseen?" V. de Rugy & J. Fitchner
August 29, 2014: The Nader Page: "The Crime of Overbilling Healthcare"
August 19,2014: The Cato Institute: "The Size and Scope of Fraud in Medicare" Nicole Kaeding
August 17, 2014: Washington Post: "A Medicare Scam That Just Keeps Rolling" David Fahrenthold
June 4, 2014: CNBC: "Medicare Advantage billing errors cost taxpayers billions" Schulte, Donald & Durkin
February 18, 2014: Boston Globe: "Funding the Fight Against Medicare Fraud" Farah Stockman
January 25, 2014: New York Times: "Doctors Abusing Medicare Face Fines and Expulsion" Robert Pear
January 20, 2014: Politifact: On fraud rates in EITC, Medicare, Medicare & Food Stamps Programs. Tom Kertscher
January 13, 2014: Huffington Post: "Medical Price Gouging and Waste Are Skyrocketing" Ralph Nader

Upcoming Events

February 2016
Australia & New Zealand School of Government, Executive Program in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Professor Sparrow will be chairing an executive program offered by the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in February 2016.

Managing Regulation, Enforcement & Compliance, a one week program, will be delivered in Melbourne from 14th to 19th February, 2016. (The next offering of the ANZSOG course after that will be in October 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand). Visit the ANZSOG course website for a course description, brochures, online registration, and an explanatory video.
March/April 2016
HKS Executive Program "Strategic Management of Regulatory & Enforcement Agencies" (SMREA)

SMREA is a one-week executive program focusing on the distinctive strategic and managerial challenges that surround government agencies' regulatory and enforcement functions. The course will be offered (for the 30th time at Harvard) from Monday 28th March to Saturday 2nd April 2016. Professor Sparrow chairs the program, and other faculty teaching include Professors Mark H. Moore and Rob Stavins. Please note that the standard weekly schedule is pushed back by one full day to avoid the Easter weekend. The welcome dinner is in the evening of Monday 28th March, and the course will finish at noon on Saturday 2nd April.

Here you may view Course Details & Description, download Brochures, and/or Apply Online.

Recent News/Events

October/November 2015
Professor Sparrow hosted by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Sparrow chaired the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) 1 week executive program Managing Regulation, Enforcement & Compliance in Brisbane, Australia. During this visit to Australia & New Zealand, Professor Sparrow also conducted seminars for the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australian Department of Health), the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, and the Victoria Managed Insurance Authority.
October 2015
"Environmental Crime and Collaborative State Intervention," editors Grant Pink & Rob White, published by Palgrave Macmillan. The "Foreword" was written by Professor Sparrow.

See publisher's information about the book here.
September 2015
3rd International Conference of Dental Regulators, 16th September 2015, in Boston

Professor Sparrow delivered the Keynote Speech at the International Conference for Dental Regulators, hosted by the American Dental Association (ADA) on 16th September 2015 in Boston. See the ADA conference website for details.
May 2015
Professor Sparrow hosted by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Sparrow delivered a 1-day workshop in Sydney on May 15th, hosted by the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in Sydney, Australia. This program introduces participants to the concept of risk-based regulatory practice, and examines the manner of constructive interaction between professional regulators and red-tape reduction and deregulatory movements.

On May 17th Professor Sparrow delivered a Keynote Speech and workshop on Risk-Based Regulation at the annual conference of the Australian Medical Boards, held in Adelaide.

During this visit to Australia, he also conducted seminars for the Australian Skills Quality Regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the Department of Immigration & Border Protection, the Australian Institute for Teaching & School Leadership, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development, and the Department of the Environment.
March 2015
“Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization” published jointly by the National Institute of Justice & Harvard. Release date: March 23rd 2015.

Redefining Success in Policing: Policing in America is at a turning point. For two decades the emphasis in many departments has been on relentlessly driving down reported crime rates, often using technical means, aggressive street-order maintenance tactics, and huge numbers of arrests. While effective crime control still counts, recent events have highlighted the importance of paying attention as well to means, moderating policing styles, respecting constitutional rights, eliminating bias, using no more force or coercion than necessary, and engaging effectively with communities.

In this timely paper Sparrow addresses one of the key obstacles to progress: The police profession has long used narrow definitions of success which place inordinate emphasis on a very short list of quantitative indicators--reported crime rates, arrest rates, clearance rates and response times. Police executives, he says, now need a much broader conception of the policing mission, a more expansive view of the range of community problems they can affect, and a clear understanding of the different types of work that must be integrated within one organization (functional work, process-based work, risk-based work, and crisis-response). Police executives need to become sophisticated users of a significantly broader range of indicators, and they will need some discrete frameworks to help them gauge and manage the multiple dimensions of their departments' performance.

In this paper Sparrow demonstrates how the two classes of metrics that still seem to wield the most influence in many departments--crime reduction and enforcement productivity--would utterly fail to reflect the very best performance in crime control. Real success in crime control, he says, would mean spotting emerging problems early and suppressing them before they did much harm. This performance depends on vigilance, nimbleness in response, and skill. Curiously, success of that type would not produce substantial year-to-year reductions in crime figures, because genuine and substantial reductions are available only when crime problems have first grown out of control. Neither would best practice produce enormous numbers of arrests, coercive interventions, or any other specific activity; because skill demands economy in the use of force and financial resources and rests on the production of artful and well-tailored responses rather than extensive and costly campaigns.

How to define success in a more appropriate, more comprehensive and more balanced way; and then how to measure it.  That's the puzzle Sparrow tackles here. As he says in the paper:

"Yes, of course crime control counts. But what will happen if relentless pressure is applied to lower the reported crime rate, and no counterbalancing controls are imposed on methods, the use of force, or the integrity of the recording and reporting systems? From the public's perspective, the resulting organizational behaviors can be ineffective, inappropriate, and even disastrous."

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who recently co-chaired the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, commented:

"We need a clear vision of where Policing in America is headed. We have to pick the right combination and balance of goals from the myriad possibilities that different folks would nominate. We surely need a broader view of what it means to succeed in the vital but enormously complex enterprise of policing. This is indeed a critical subject, and Sparrow has provided a rich and very timely paper to help the profession think through this issue. Every police chief will find ideas here they can use, and I suspect their communities will be better served as a result."

Malcolm K. Sparrow's paper, "Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization" is his 4th and final paper in the current Perspectives Series, which is a product of the second "Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety," a 6-year collaboration between NIJ and HKS' Program on Criminal Justice Policy & Management.

The paper is available as a free pdf here, from the National Institute of Justice, or from the Program on Criminal Justice Policy & Management
February 2015

Professor Sparrow hosted by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Sparrow chaired the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) 1 week executive program Managing Regulation, Enforcement & Compliance in Coogee Bay, near Sydney, Australia. This marked the 20th time this course has been offered by ANZSOG in Australia & New Zealand since it was inaugurated in 2006. During this visit to Australia, Professor Sparrow also conducted seminars for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources & Mines; Australian Communications & Media Authority; Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation; Australian Department of Immigration & Border Protection; New South Wales Department of Trade & Investment; New South Wales Safety, Return to Work, & Support; and the Australian Capitol Territory Government.
September 2014
“Managing the Boundary Between Public and Private Policing” published by National Institute of Justice.

Malcolm K. Sparrow's paper, "Managing the Boundary Between Public and Private Policing" offers a unique opportunity for police executives to explore the critical issues that arise in collaborative provision of security.

Being in some general sense "for" or "against" private security is not helpful, as such views are inadequately nuanced or sophisticated given the variety of issues at stake. The motivations of private parties will rarely, if ever, be fully aligned with public interests. As public police engage in partnerships and networked relationships involving private and not-for-profit organizations, they become less the deliverers of security and more the orchestrators of security provision. Public police need to understand clearly the motivations and capabilities of each contributor, develop an understanding of the whole system and what it provides, and do their utmost to make sure that overall provision of security squares with their public purpose.

The paper provides a decision framework that police executives can use to help navigate these issues. Executive Committee Member and Former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis commented, "Police chiefs now have to handle these issues almost every day. All of the scenarios Sparrow describes in this paper had their analogues in Boston. I think the decision framework he has laid out here provides a lot of clarity in a very complex arena."

"Managing the Boundary Between Public and Private Policing" is published as a product of the second "Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety," a collaboration of NIJ and HKS' Program on Criminal Justice Policy & Management.

The paper is available as a free pdf either from the National Institute of Justice, or from the Program on Criminal Justice Policy & Management.
September 2014
IAMRA 2014: 11th International Conference on Medical Regulation, in London, England

Professor Sparrow delivered the Keynote Address at the Biennial Conference of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA) held in London on September 9th-12th, 2014. The 2014 conference was hosted by the UK General Medical Council. For program details and handouts, see the IAMRA conference website.

Professor Sparrow's Conference Blog, "Risk-Based Regulation and the Sabotage of Harms" is posted by the GMC.
May 2014
Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators Network (AELERT), posts videos from its annual conference held in Melbourne on November 13th-14th, 2013

Professor Sparrow presented the Opening Keynote Address, which is available to AELERT members through the AELERT website.

The following brief video segments are taken from an interview taped during the conference, in which Professor Sparrow answers some specific questions about developments in regulatory practice:

(1) Why do you describe regulatory practice as a "craft"? video
(2) What does it mean to organize around risks? video
(3) What stops a regulatory organization being nimble (in dealing with emerging or unfamiliar risks)? video
(4) What changes in regulatory practice would you anticipate over the next five years? video
December 2013
The GRumbler now available for Mac users!

A new version of the GRumbler, designed to be compatible with Macs as well as PCs, is available on "The GRumbler" page of this website. It has not been extensively tested in a Mac environment, although all macros now seem to run without problems on Mac installations of Excel 2011. Thanks to Andy Faulkner, my programming wizard friend in Maidstone, England, for his help unravelling all the curious ways in which Mac implementations of Excel misbehave.

Mac users: please let me know whether this file works for you or not, and what version of Excel your Mac is running.

The GRumbler remains compatible with Excel 2003, Excel 2007, and with both 32-bit and 64-bit installations of Excel 2010.

The GRumbler Instructions file has not been updated, as the functionality is unchanged. Please report any further compatability issues to me directly at Thanks, and Happy GRumbling.
December 2013

International Conference on Financial Supervision, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Professor Sparrow presented the Opening Keynote Address at a conference on financial supervision hosted by the Dutch National Bank in Amsterdam on Friday 13th December 2013. The conference was held in part to celebrate the publication of the book "Financial Supervision in the 21st Century," Kellerman, de Haan, de Vries, eds. (Springer Verlag, 2013) and to explore the challenges of risk-based supervision (regulation), particularly at the European level.
October & November 2013
Professor Sparrow hosted by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Sparrow chaired the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) 1 week executive program Managing Regulation, Enforcement & Compliance in Brisbane, Australia, and conducted seminars for New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs, Queensland's Department of Health, the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency, Victoria's Department of Environment & Primary Industries, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and the Australian (Commonwealth) Department of Health. He also presented the Opening Keynote Address at the annual conference of the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators Network (AELERT), held in Melbourne on November 13th-14th, 2013.
July 2013
Professor Sparrow's paper, "Governing Science," featured in summer 2013 edition of HKS Impact Magazine.

On-line version of the Impact article, written by Robert O'Neill, is available here. Download pdf of the printed article here.
The paper, "Governing Science," is available through the National Institute of Justice website here.
June 2013
"Financial Supervision in the 21st Century," editors A. Joanne Kellerman, Jakob de Haan, Femke de Vries, published by Springer Verlag. The "Foreword" was written by Professor Sparrow.

See publisher's information about the book here.
Download a free pdf of Professor Sparrow's Foreword here.
Download a free pdf of the book's "front matter" (including Professor Sparrow's Foreword , Authors' Preface, and Table of Contents) here.

HKS Connections:
Heidi Richards (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority), author of Chapter 5, is an alumna of the HKS MPP Program.
Femke de Vries (Dutch National Bank, editor, author of Chapter 11), is an alumna of the HKS Executive Program "Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies" (SMREA).
April 2013
Professor Sparrow delivered the keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Federation of State Medical Boards, Thursday April 19th in Boston.

The keynote address, titled "The Art of Harm-Reduction: Lessons from the World of Regulatory Practice,” was aired via live webcast beginning at 8:30a.m. Eastern Time.
March 2013
Ralph Nader asks President Barack Obama to pay more attention to Malcolm Sparrow's work on Health Care Fraud!

Read Ralph Nader's Letter to the President, March 18th 2013.
February 2013
Professor Sparrow hosted by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand.

In February Professor Sparrow delivered a series of seminars sponsored by ANZSOG in Australia and New Zealand. Host agencies included the New Zealand Internal Revenue Department, New Zealand Commerce Commission, the Australian Clean Energy Regulator, the Australian Medicare Program, and the Victoria Environmental Protection Agency.
January 2013

Professor Sparrow hosted by the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission in Pretoria, South Africa.

In January Professor Sparrow chaired a 3-day workshop/seminar for the South African Department of Trade and Industry. The visit was sponsored and hosted by the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission.
October 2012

Professor Sparrow delivered the opening keynote address at the 23rd Annual Problem-Oriented Policing Conference, held in Providence, Rhode Island, October 22nd to 24th.

Professor Sparrow's Keynote presentation slides are available as a pdf file here. All conference presentations will also be posted in due course on the POP Center website. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
June 2012
"Unravelling a Risk-Management Challenge" by Malcolm Sparrow is published in "Ports in a Storm: Public Management in a Turbulent World" edited by John D. Donahue & Mark H. Moore, Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C., 2012

This book examines the efforts of the U.S. Coastguard, working with industry and a broad range of other agencies, to increase the security of U.S. ports in the wake of the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001. Malcolm Sparrow's analysis (Chapter 3, pages 25-54) uses an Operational Risk-Management perspective to assess what these efforts are likely to have accomplished and what work still remains to be done. His essay draws a sharp conceptual distinction between "improving security systems" and "improving security" and shows how progress on the former does not necessarily guarantee progress on the latter.

The book is available through Brookings Institution Press.
May 2012
"Crime Control through a Regulatory Approach: Joining the Regulatory Fold" an invited Policy Essay written by Malcolm Sparrow is published in Criminology & Public Policy, Vol. 11, Issue 2.

Download pdf here.
March 2012
"The Sabotage of Harms: An Emerging Art Form for Public Managers," by Malcolm Sparrow.

The Character of Harms is featured by ESADE, Institute of Public Governance & Management, in their March 2012 newsletter. In an accompanying essay, Professor Sparrow makes the case that the field of public management scholarship needs to take note of the sabotage of harms as an emerging professional art-form, full of promise but surely in need of development, formalization and refinement.

Extract...."Roughly half the work that governments do involves the control of harms. Law enforcement, security, intelligence and social regulatory agencies all exist primarily to protect citizens from harms of one type or another. True, they deliver services too, and the public management literature has a great deal to say about how to do service-delivery well. But their core task is to identify “bads” (hazards, risks, threats, problems, or harms) and to control them effectively, thereby making citizens safer, healthier, and more secure. Little guidance has been available to public officials on the issues peculiar to the risk-control business, even as a series of disasters (quickly dubbed “regulatory failures”) unfold. Practitioners need the field of Public Management to pay much more attention to the distinctive challenges associated with this type of work."

Read the full essay here on the ESADE website: English version, Spanish version, or Catalan version.
Download printable (pdf) version.
February/March 2012
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Hosts Professor Sparrow in Edinburgh

Professor Sparrow visited Edinburgh, Scotland, 27th February through March 9th as a guest of the Scottish EPA. He delivered workshops on "Managing Regulation, Enforcement & Compliance" for senior regulators. Participants included environmental regulatory managers from Scotland, England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland; as well as representatives of several other European regulatory agencies including the Scottish Executive; Scotland Water; Scotland's Health & Safety Executive; Scotland's Food Standards Agency; Audit Scotland; Healthcare Improvement Scotland; Ayr Animal Health Office; Marine Scotland; the Isle of Man Agency for the Environment, Food and Agricutlure; and the Netherlands' Authority for Financial Markets.
February 2012
Delaware's Health Security Act mandates Fraud Control Model from Sparrow's "License to Steal"

Paragraph 1606 of the Health Security Act (February 2012) ("Purpose of the Health Security Act") requires:
"Fully fund, install and utilize the seven components of the health care fraud-control strategy explained by Dr. Malcolm Sparrow in his publication titled License to Steal: How Fraud Bleeds America's Health Care System and a minimum of ten percent of our state's health care funds will be saved from fraud. Dr. Sparrow, Professor in the School of Government at Harvard University, is our nation's recognized authority on health care fraud." How about that!



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