Senate Clears Bill to Improve Management of Federal Programs

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is a sponsor of the bill. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is a sponsor of the bill. Evan Vucci/AP

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill designed to curb government waste by using private-sector performance standards for federal programs and by creating new agency specialists in the discipline of program management.

The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (S. 1550) sponsored by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., passed by unanimous consent. It would require the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget to create a Program Management Policy Council and direct agencies to appoint program management improvement officers. The Office of Personnel Management would be required to identify relevant skill sets and create related job classifications for program and project management.

The council and the new officers would then:

  • Adopt and oversee governmentwide standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project agencies;
  • Issue regulations and establish standards and policies for agencies in accordance with nationally accredited standards for program and project management planning and delivery issues;
  • Conduct portfolio reviews of high-risk programs; and,
  • Develop a five-year strategic plan for program and project management, to be submitted to Congress and OMB by the head of each agency.

“This bipartisan legislation puts our federal government back on track by streamlining efforts and outlining strategies to correct widespread deficiencies, lax oversight and unnecessary cost overruns incurred by preventable delays in meeting stated program goals and deadlines,” Ernst said. “By adopting widely accepted management standards that are often used in the private sector, these commonsense reforms ensure that taxpayer dollars are safeguarded by increasing accountability throughout the federal government."

The bill now heads to the House, where a companion bill was introduced in April by Reps. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Gerry Connolly, D-Va.

Many of the bill’s elements align with the agenda of the nonprofit Project Management Institute, whose president and CEO Mark Langley on Friday urged the House to pass the bill “as soon as possible to enhance the government’s ability to effectively manage its portfolio of projects and programs.”

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

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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