Orszag: More must be done to evaluate programs

The White House budget chief told statistics professionals Friday that more must be done to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of the nation's healthcare and education systems.

"We are making huge investments without doing enough to measure what works and what doesn't," said Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

Speaking at a symposium on the use of statistics in federal programs, Orszag highlighted the administration's efforts to boost funding for "effectiveness research" in the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

But Orszag warned that more data systems, or protocols for statistical analyses, must be put in place to help policymakers determine the best ways to educate the nation's children and keep citizens healthy. "In health care, we are doing lots of things without measuring the impact," he said, noting that the costs of the same medical procedures sometimes vary wildly from hospital to hospital. Citing a Dartmouth College study showing that $700 billion is spent annually on healthcare services with no proven outcomes, he said the system is "wasting substantial amounts of resources on procedures that don't work."

Noting the administration's commitment to "evidence-based policy making," Orszag defended the elimination of programs in the president's fiscal 2010 budget details that were released Thursday. The Even Start program -- which supports family literacy projects and was protected from the Bush administration budget ax by its champions in Congress -- has simply performed too poorly on empirical tests to warrant funding, Orszag said. The administration's commitment to data analysis, Orszag later added, informs its commitment to evaluating teacher performance in the classroom rather than rewarding educators only on the basis of "upfront credentials."

He told the statisticians, "There could be a potentially very big payoff, but we're not going to be able to do that kind of analysis if we don't have a data system in place in the first place."

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 GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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