As one who worked both in NJ, and as a political appointee, there is no question that workers who fail to commit to a mission, and leadership that fails to establish a mission can easily promote this type of negative characterizations about government workers. and yes it’s government workers across the board who have to take the biggest hit. The constant hits turn into employee low morale and mediocrity where workers become numb to responsibility or accountability. (not every worker of course, but the attitude can be pervasive).
There is a lot of talk about re-inventing government in today’s marketplace, but until there is a brand strategy that effectively communicates and then realistically delivers the new brand so the brand begins to positively impact the public, then it is a challenge to change perceptions. The Open Government Directive is like the FDR Social Security program when we needed it most. Time will only tell if the Directive will have such a sustainable and favorable impact.