Bush talks management with Social Security officials

President Bush met with Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart and Deputy Commissioner James Lockhart at the White House Wednesday to discuss a variety of issues related to the program, including performance-based management.

The meeting was part of a regular schedule of sessions the president holds with top agency officials, according to White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and included a discussion on OMB's recent scorecard on the Social Security Administration's performance.

OMB's scorecard, included in the president's fiscal 2003 budget, rates agencies in five areas, including: human capital management, competitive sourcing, financial management, electronic government and linking performance to budgets. It uses a simple "traffic light" grading system: green for success, yellow for mixed results, and red for unsatisfactory.

SSA fared better on the scorecard than most agencies, receiving three yellow lights, for human capital management, financial management and e-government, and two red lights in competitive sourcing and performance-based budgeting.

Bush also discussed his Social Security reform plan and Social Security's disability program with agency officials during Wednesday's meeting. The president is not expected to push Congress to act on his Social Security reform proposal this year.

Kellie Lunney contributed to this report.