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Cross-Agency Priority Goals Set World-Class Benchmarks


The Office of Management and Budget has released an updated list of cross-agency priority goals for the remainder of the Obama administration. This is the second in a two-part series addressing the details of each goal.

Cross-agency priority goals address the longstanding challenge of tackling horizontal problems across vertical organizational silos. Fifteen cross-agency goals were announced in the fiscal 2015 federal budget proposal—seven mission-oriented and eight management-focused—with a four-year time horizon.

An earlier post provided excerpts from the seven mission-related cross-agency priority goals. Following are edited excerpts of the eight management-oriented goals detailed on and the senior leaders named to guide each effort:

Management Cross-Agency Priority Goals

The remaining eight priority goals reflect the Obama administration’s new four-part management improvement agenda to address effectiveness, efficiency, economic growth, and people and culture.


Goal 8: Customer Service

Deliver world-class customer service to citizens by making it faster and easier for individuals and businesses to complete transactions and have a positive experience with government.

Goal leaders:

  • Lisa Danzig, associate director for personnel and performance, OMB
  • Commissioner, Social Security Administration (Carolyn Colvin, acting)  

Goal 9: Smarter IT Delivery

Improve outcomes and customer satisfaction with federal services through smarter information technology and stronger agency accountability for success. This will be done by strengthening agency accountability and implementing strategies such as:

  • Getting the best talent to work in government
  • Getting the best companies to work with government
  • Putting the right processes and practices in place to drive outcomes and accountability

Goal leaders:

  • Steve VanRoekel, federal chief information officer, OMB 
  • Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary, Veterans Affairs Department
  • Todd Park, chief technology officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy


Goal 10: Strategic Sourcing

Expand the use of high-quality, high-value strategic sourcing solutions to improve the government’s buying power and reduce contract duplication. Roll out next-generation solutions for existing federal strategic sourcing initiatives and expand strategic sourcing to other commodity areas. This is a continuation of an earlier priority goal.

Goal leaders:

  • Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, OMB (Lesley Field, acting)
  • Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Defense Department

Goal 11: Shared Services

Strategically expand high-quality, high-value shared services to improve performance and efficiency throughout government. Develop common standards and benchmarks to measure shared service utilization, performance and cost. Mandate those standards and benchmarks for common administrative services. This is a continuation of an earlier priority goal.

These standards and benchmarks will drive efficiencies and greater performance by taking the following steps:

  • Increasing the capacity of federal shared service providers (SSPs) at the departments of Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Health and Human Services, Transportation and Defense.
  • Requiring lower-cost, higher-performing shared services for all agencies and SSPs that cannot meet established targets.

The following target areas for shared services are listed in order of priority: financial, human resources, technology and acquisition.

Goal leaders:

  • Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management, OMB (Norman Dong, acting)
  • Krysta Harden, deputy secretary, Agriculture Department

Goal 12: Benchmark and Improve Mission-Support Operations

Improve administrative efficiency and increase the adoption of effective management practices by establishing cost and quality benchmarks of mission-support operations and giving agency decision-makers better data to compare options, allocate resources and improve processes. This will involve the following steps:

  • Establishing cost and quality benchmarks for core/administrative operations such as HR, finance, acquisition and IT
  • Cutting improper payments
  • Saving on real estate costs

Goal leaders:

  • Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management, OMG (Norman Dong, acting)
  • Dan Tangherlini, administrator, General Services Administration

Economic Growth

Goal 13: Open Data

Fuel entrepreneurship and innovation and improve government efficiency and effectiveness by unlocking the value of government data and adopting management approaches that promote interoperability and openness of this data. The goal will focus on a series of governmentwide objectives, strategies and major metrics that facilitate and gauge the outcome-oriented and management improvement goals for open data. Metrics will prioritize three channels of impact measurement:

  • Economic value creation organizations
  • Existing public program outcomes
  • Internal government efficiency

Goal leaders:

  • Steve VanRoekel, federal chief information officer, OMB
  • Todd Park, chief technology officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Goal 14: Lab-to-Market

Increase the economic impact of federally funded research and development by accelerating and improving the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. This will include:

  • Optimizing the management, discoverability and ease-of-license of the 100,000+ federally funded patents.
  • Increasing the use of federally funded research facilities by entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Ensuring that relevant federal institutions and employees are appropriately incentivized to prioritize R&D commercialization.
  • Identifying steps to develop human capital with experience in technology transfer, which include expanding opportunities for entrepreneurship education.
  • Maximizing the economic impact of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Goal leaders:

  • Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Dan Poneman, deputy secretary, Energy Department

People and Culture

Goal 15: People and Culture

Innovate by unlocking the full potential of the workforce we have today and building the workforce we need for tomorrow. This includes taking steps to:

  • Foster a culture of excellence by using data-driven approaches to enhance management, performance and innovation across the federal workforce.
  • Build a world-class federal management team, starting with the Senior Executive Service.
  • Enable agencies to hire the best talent from all segments of society.

Goal leaders:

  • Jonathan McBride, director, Presidential Personnel Office
  • Katherine Archuleta, director, Office of Personnel Management

In addition to the cross-agency priority goals, the refreshed website now includes updated agency priority goals, strategic plans and annual plans.

(Image via dotshock/

John M. Kamensky is a Senior Research Fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He previously served as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget, and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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