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OMB Trumpets Progress on Tracking Contractor Performance and Other Cross-Agency Goals

Obama push for data-driven management is paying off, according to update.

From cybersecurity to agency customer service to strategic sourcing, the priority goals set by the Obama administration in the budget last March continue to guide agency management improvements and are producing “notable progress and success,” according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert in a Thursday blogpost said updates on the 15 cross-agency priority goals and 91 agency goals for the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2014 have been posted on  “Now, a year in, we are seeing notable progress and success as agencies work together and break down silos,” Cobert wrote. “Additionally, as a result of setting these goals and measuring progress against them, teams supporting the goals have identified new strategies to deal with roadblocks they have encountered. “

Each goal entry on includes officials responsible for its pursuit, along with lists of actions taken and evidence of progress. The executive branch’s Performance Improvement Council also has launched a website, she announced.

Examples Cobert cited include the first-of-its-kind benchmarking effort at the 24 major agencies led by OMB with the General Services Administration. It establishes 40 metrics that “benchmark the efficiency of government functions across more than 150 organizations in the areas of acquisitions, finance, information technology, human capital and real property,” she noted. In the hope of importing private-sector standards and practices to federal missions, the effort at some agencies has produced a 10 percent rise in reporting on contractor past performance.

Similarly, to pursue the cross-agency priority goal of spreading use of shared services, the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation this fall developed guidance on governance of financial management shared services with chief financial officers and federal shared services providers. The guidance defines rules and responsibilities. Thus far, four agencies have begun the switch, Cobert said.

On priority goals within agencies, Cobert singled out the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for their work responding to climate change by seeking reductions in carbon emissions around the world. So far, 13 countries have adopted recommended strategies, and 2,386 officials have been trained or assisted on reducing pollution.

Not all goals are being met, she acknowledged. GSA’s priority goal in strategic sourcing saved the government $97 million, though that was $13.4 million short of its original goal. Even so, “This challenge has propelled the GSA Goal Team to expand the reach of the effort and in turn, to develop a new policy approach that emphasizes category management expanding acquisition staff capabilities,” Cobert wrote.

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