House Panel Clears Bill to Revamp Program Management

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced the bill, along with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (not pictured). Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced the bill, along with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (not pictured). Alex Brandon/AP

A Senate-passed bill to bring private-sector performance standards to federal program management cleared the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday by voice vote.

The bipartisan Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (S. 1550)introduced by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., passed by voice vote, with an amendment by Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

The bill would create new agency specialists in the discipline of program management; 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. A similar House version (H.R. 2144) was introduced by Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind.

The action came during a contentious business meeting during which the panel also reported out a Republican bill to block the District of Columbia government from enacting its own budget without congressional approval. The panel also divided on party lines to approve a bill by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., to require agencies to make information available on their websites for all public communications about proposed regulations or other pending regulatory actions.

Additionally, the panel cleared a bill introduced in many past congresses that would have the Government Accountability Office audit the Federal Reserve Board.

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