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OMB Posts Progress on Cross-agency Goals

First quarterly report launched during Sunshine Week.

The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday launched the first in a promised pattern of quarterly online updates on how agencies are faring in pursuit of the 14 cross-agency priority goals first outlined in President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget.

The website now includes a progress update on the 14 goals as well as 103 agency priority goals set in compliance with the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. “These goals are set in areas where the administration aims to achieve accelerated performance improvement through focused senior leadership attention,” wrote Shelley Metzenbaum OMB associate director for performance and personnel management, in a blogpost. The quarterly updates will provide “a window into the administration’s efforts to make the government work smarter, better, and more efficiently.”

Examples of Cross-Agency Goals include the Energy and Housing and Urban Development departments teaming up to help low-income families reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. In 2009, the two agencies set a joint priority goal of enabling cost-effective energy retrofits or energy efficient new construction of a total of 1.2 million housing units from fiscal 2010 and 2013. “DoE and HUD achieved this goal ahead of schedule, having completed retrofits of over 1.2 million homes by the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, saving these households hundreds of dollars each year in heating, cooling, and electricity costs,” Metzenbaum wrote.

Multiple agencies are pitching in to boost economic competitiveness by hitting a goal of providing 4G wireless broadband coverage for 98 percent of Americans by 2016. As of June 2012, 81 percent of Americans have access to advanced wireless broadband and the ability to enjoy minimum download speeds of at least 6 megabits per second, up from 36 percent in mid-2010. When wired connections are included, the availability of 4G or comparable broadband speeds jumps to almost 96 percent of the population, the website reports.

Within agencies, the Interior Department showed progress toward a goal of increasing production of clean energy on public lands. It set a goal that by Sept. 30, 2013, it will increase the approved capacity for renewable energy (solar, wind, and geothermal) on or affecting public lands by at least 11,000 Megawatts relative to 2009 levels. “By the end of 2012, it was fast approaching its goal, having approved 10,933 Megawatts, enough to power millions of homes,” Metzenbaum wrote.

The Treasury Department reported progress on its bid to increase electronic transactions to improve service, prevent fraud, and reduce costs. The department has cut the number of paper claims from a high of 195.5 million in 2007 to 41 million in 2012. The shift to electronic tax return filing with the Internal Revenue Service is ahead of schedule, reaching 80 percent in 2012, the website reports.

Finally, the U.S. Agency for International Development has documented progress on reducing the global mortality rate for children under five. “Its efforts have contributed to an estimated reduction of 2 deaths per 1,000 live births across USAID-assisted countries (from an estimated 73 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to an estimated 71 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012),” Metzenbaum wrote.

(Image via vasabii/