OMB details agency obligations under Government Performance Act

Chief operating officers must "redouble their efforts to cut waste" as they lead their agency's efforts to set priority goals required by the 2010 update of the Government Performance and Results Act, according to an Office and Management and Budget memo.

"The challenges we face today demand that, now more than ever, every federal employee must serve as a careful steward of taxpayer dollars," wrote OMB Director Jacob Lew and Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients in a directive titled "Delivering an Efficient, Effective and Accountable Government."

They noted that the chief operating officers and chief performance officers at every agency are tasked under the law with setting priority goals, designating a senior official responsible for each goal, and providing quarterly reviews of progress and cost reductions.

The memo's additions to the tasks set out in last year's law include an emphasis on implementing requirements of a June 28 executive order, part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, led by Vice President Joe Biden and a newly empaneled board made up primarily of inspectors general.

The memo also commences, in time for publication of the fiscal 2013 budget next February, OMB's effort to set interim federal priority goals based on agency priority goals. Under the 2010 law, OMB will consult with congressional staff, the President's Management Council, the President's Performance Council and agencies to finalize federal priority goals in by February 2014.

Two-year agency priority goals should focus on core agency missions, the memo stated, and some of these will be vetted by OMB to loop in multiple agencies. Proposals for priority goals are due with budget submissions on Sept. 12. They should focus on "key problems through which performance could be improved through cross-agency collaboration," the memo said. Proposals for priority goals should specify goal leaders, contributing agencies, organizations, program activities, performance targets, key milestones and management challenges.

Effective immediately, the memo applies to all agencies except the CIA, Government Accountability Office, Panama Canal Commission, U.S. Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission.

The memo's "important details" were welcomed by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., a key author of the 2010 government performance act, according to a spokesman. "We will continue to track the implementation carefully to hold senior officials accountable for results and to promote more cross-agency collaboration," said Kevin Hall.

Jonathan D. Breul, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, told Government Executive the memo will help reduce duplication and enhance transparency in procurement. The most striking thing about it, he said, is "how they make a clear linkage between implementing new approaches to improve performance while reducing cost in a more meaningful way, one that will enhance mission value provided by departments to citizens, states and local governments and business.

"The idea that improved performance and cost cutting can work together by applying proven commercial best practices," Breul added, "is an important and positive step toward more effective and efficient government."

Donald Kettl, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, noted that the memo came a day after OMB tasked agencies with preparing for budget cuts of 5 percent to 10 percent. With Congress' new "super committee trolling for programs to slash and the automatic trigger lurking in the background, the administration is trying to get ahead of the game," he said.

"In the din of the budget battle and the rising anti-government sentiment among the public, it's hard to talk about things like government performance," he said. "But this is the administration's effort to put a more positive step forward, and to remind government managers that all the investments in trying to identify goals might help in identifying the budget cuts to come.

"In the middle of all the battles, it's going to be hard to remember that we have a government to run," Kettle added, "but the performance agenda provides at least a touchstone for focusing on how to get done the things that must get done."

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:

  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

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

    Download

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