White House to Meet With Federal Agencies to Ensure Enactment of Trump’s Agenda

The White House on April 5. The White House on April 5. Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

The White House will soon meet with all federal agencies to review their strategic plans and evaluate whether they are meeting key performance goals, according to new guidance from its top management official.

The meetings, which will take place over the summer, will ensure agencies are fulfilling President Trump’s priorities and management agenda, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a memorandum released Tuesday. They will help the White House determine agencies’ progress in achieving the administration's “reform priorities and objectives,” Mulvaney said, adding that such regularly scheduled, data-driven assessments help organizations perform better. Trump released his management agenda in March.

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“Management reviews provide a forum to bring people, resources, and evidence together, incorporating data analysis needed to diagnose problems and agree on next steps to resolve them and make progress,” Mulvaney wrote.

Agencies will present information to OMB focusing on three areas: mission assessment, risk assessment and management priorities. Each agency’s performance improvement officer will lead a strategic review, leading to the agency placing at least 10 percent of its objectives into the category of either “noteworthy progress” or “focus area for improvement.” Mulvaney directed the agencies to examine Fedscope workforce data, Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results, program evaluations, research studies and General Services Administration cross-agency benchmarking in making their determinations.

In their risk assessments, agencies will identify issues that could prevent them from achieving their strategic goals. They will also examine each of their functions that landed on the Government Accountability Office’s high-risk list and develop a timetable for presenting evidence to the auditors showing why they should no longer be on it.

Agencies will develop assessments of each element of their management, including human capital, procurement, finances, strategic planning and performance evaluation. Mulvaney called for a specific update on their implementation of the management agenda, including their efforts to reorganize, slash regulations and create an agenda that better utilizes evidence.

Leaders across government must submit their materials to OMB by May 21, and will meet with the White House officials in June or July. The meetings will inform “operational decisions, budgetary tradeoffs and development of legislative proposals,” Mulvaney said. Agencies will develop their fiscal 2020 budget based on feedback OMB provides during the meetings.

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