OMB Wants Agencies to Move Beyond Measuring Performance

Tish1/Shutterstock.com

Much of the emphasis in the federal performance reporting process has been on measuring how well agencies are doing at meeting short-term goals, a key Office of Management and Budget official said Tuesday. Now with new strategic reviews underway, the focus should gradually shift to implementing improvements.

There are three parts to the process of implementing strategic reviews of agency operations, as required under the 2010 Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act, said Lisa Danzig, associate director for personnel and performance at the Office of Management and Budget:

  • Assessing progress
  • Informing decision making
  • Taking action to make improvements

So far, much of the emphasis has been on the first item on the list, Danzig said during a panel discussion sponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration about a new report on strategic reviews.

“We’re at the beginning of a pretty complex process,” of conducting strategic reviews, she said. Just assessing progress “took so much energy and political capital,” she added.

Danzig highlighted a chart showing that 2014 strategic reviews, which are currently underway, would focus on performance measures and “course corrections.” In 2015, the reviews “inform budget, legislative and regulatory proposals,” and in 2016 they “impact long-term strategy.”

“People get focused on, ‘OMB wants a diagnostic on how we’re doing.’ We’re actually even more interested in what you’re going to do next,” Danzig said.

That will take time, agency officials who participated in the discussion said. “I could see this taking several years to actually build out,” said Martha Rubenstein, chief financial officer at the National Science Foundation. 

(Image via Tish1/Shutterstock.com)

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