Setting a PBO Standard

A draft model for agencies to use when converting programs into performance-based organizations is making the roounds of agencies and federal employees' unions, Federal Times reported this week.

Officials at the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget are working out a template for agencies to use after the initial round of PBO candidates submitted their own models of how to make the conversion.

"Our hope is that when people want to be a PBO, they wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel," John Koskinen, deputy director for management at OMB, told Federal Times.

In the words of the National Performance Review, PBOs are "discrete management units that commit to clear objectives, specific measurable goals, customer service standards, and targets for improved performance." Any federal program that is not regulatory in nature or a policy-making body is a potential PBO candidate.

The Clinton Administration has already identified nine PBO candidates: The Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office, National Technical Information Service, and seafood inspection operations; the Defense Commissary Agency; the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.; the Government National Mortgage Association; the Federal Housing Administration; the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Retirement and Insurance Service; and the U.S. Mint.

Koskinen said the model being developed would help agencies draft their own legislative packages. Certain aspects of PBO status, including increased budgetary discretion and the creation of a chief executive officer position, require congressional approval.

Unions, worried that PBOs will threaten civil servants' rights, consider a governmentwide template a good way to prevent agencies from abusing the leeway PBO status would give them over their employees. The current draft would exempt agencies from Title 5, which lays out the personnel rules of the civil service.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.