Agencies show modest gains on management score card

Federal agencies saw modest improvements on the latest Bush administration quarterly management score card, with the biggest gains evident in e-government initiatives.

Eight of 26 agencies improved their e-government grades on the traffic-light-style President's Management Agenda score card for the first-quarter of fiscal 2006, which ended Dec. 31, 2005. Only the Transportation Department was downgraded in that area. The Office of Management and Budget published the scores Thursday.

The last time score card results were issued, the e-government category saw an unusual number of falling marks, with six agencies' grades dropping. The new score card reversed that trend, with all but the Interior and State departments regaining lost ground.

Agencies continued to show relatively poor results in financial performance, however.

Two agencies suffered dramatic drops in that area -- the General Services Administration and Energy Department moved from green to red lights, indicating "unsatisfactory" performances. The Smithsonian Institution jumped in the other direction, moving from red to green, signaling "success." The Office of Personnel Management saw a more modest change, improving to yellow, for "mixed results."

Overall, the financial performance category on the score card remained bathed in red as 24 agencies continued to struggle with rules that require annual audits. While 19 of those agencies merited clean audits for the past year, many were held back on the score card by "material weaknesses." In the most recent ratings, 17 agencies obtained red scores in financial management, while only eight earned a green mark.

Management initiatives related to human capital, the opening of federal jobs to competition from contractors, and the linking of budget and performance results were stable, with just two agencies seeing changes.

In presenting the latest results, Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, highlighted achievements in an initiative that aims to create a comprehensive listing of federal properties. Johnson said the effort has identified $9 billion in "unneeded assets."

Johnson also noted progress during 2005 in eliminating improper federal payments, saying the total fell by $7.8 billion, or about 17 percent, exceeding a $5 billion goal.

Karen Evans, administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology at OMB, said the downgrades to e-government scores on the previous score card were largely related to the progressively more difficult milestones that agencies were committed to reach on the initiative. Early goals for agencies to develop plans for particular e-government functions were relatively easy to meet, she explained, compared with those for migrating to the new systems.

For example, the last score card, which reflected accomplishments at the close of fiscal 2005, was the first on which green status required an agency to have implemented all the relevant e-government initiatives and to have ceased investments that duplicated those efforts, Evans said. When agencies experienced setbacks in those implementation plans, it influenced their score card progress and status scores.

Bill Corrington, the Interior Department's acting deputy chief information officer, last week said his department's score on the previous card was hurt by an unusually heavy workload in May and June, when the information technology department was called on to produce 4.5 million documents in response to an ongoing court case. The caseload had a ripple effect on other IT-related programs, he said, and caused various milestones to be pushed back.

Evans said her office worked with agencies that failed to meet key targets in time for the last grades to determine what went wrong and what changes were needed to future goals to get back on track. "From my perspective, this is a direct reflection of my performance, of how well I work with the agencies to achieve the results they're looking for," she said.

By contrast, Evans said that agencies benefited on the most recent score card from updates to annual cybersecurity audits, with those that met the standard of having 90 percent of systems accredited seeing a boost.

As e-government continues to move from planning into implementation, agencies could have trouble if people at the top are not committed to projects, according to Evans. "That implementation plan affects everyone in the department, so that's going to show up," she said.

While Evans said her office worked with agencies to foster buy-in -- and sign-off -- at the deputy secretary level, she warned that it would quickly become apparent in the score cards if agencies are not fully committed to change.

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.