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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Budget Provides Some More Details on the Chief Performance Officer


President Obama's budget has some more details--however slight--on the Chief Performance Officer's office and how it will work. Apparently:

Put Performance first. The President is creating a focused team within the White House that will work with agency leaders and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve results and outcomes for Federal Government programs while eliminating waste and inefficiency. This unit will be composed of top-performing and highly-trained Government professionals and will be headed by a new Chief Performance Officer (CPO). The CPO will work with Federal agencies to set tough performance targets and hold managers responsible for progress. The President will meet regularly with cabinet officers to review the progress their agencies are making toward meeting performance improvement targets.

I think there's a lot that's promising and interesting here. It would be amazing if assignments to work with the Chief Performance Officer functioned like a detail that drew from lots of different agencies, and became a real incentive to compete for. If the jobs were structured like that, they could lend a lot of prestige to people who are working on management, performance measurement, and human resources issues.

I don't know yet what "[setting] tough performance targets and [holding] managers responsible for progress," will look like, and I don't know that anyone does. But it sounds like Obama plans a flexible framework that can be adapted to agencies' needs.

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