Senate confirms OMB deputy director

The Senate Thursday night voted unanimously to confirm Mark Everson as deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

In that role, Everson will be responsible for implementing the administration's management agenda. He will chair the President's Management Council, which is made up of the chief operating officers from every department and major agency.

Everson has been serving as OMB's de factor management chief since Sean O'Keefe left the agency last November to become director of NASA. O'Keefe was OMB's deputy director and played a large role in developing the president's management agenda. The deputy director for management post has been vacant since the end of the Clinton administration. Prior to his nomination, Everson served as OMB controller.

During his July 17 confirmation hearing, Everson said one of his top priorities as deputy director will be to strengthen the management function at OMB. Under the administration's management agenda, OMB is responsible for assessing agencies' performance in a five key areas: financial management, human resources, e-government, competitive sourcing and linking budget to performance. OMB has developed a grading system of red, yellow and green lights to track agencies' progress in these areas.

At a July 24 event sponsored by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government, OMB Director Mitch Daniels said the agency is short on the skills necessary to fully assess program management.

"OMB is not a deep repository of management expertise," Daniels said.

Prior to joining the Bush administration in August 2001, Everson was group vice president of finance for SC International Services Inc., one of the nation's largest food service companies. He held several positions in the Reagan administration.

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