Posts Tagged ‘PART’
Congress has just approved major changes to the Government Performance and Results Act, pushing for not only better performance from federal agencies and programs, but also better reporting and more transparency.
The measure calls for federal agencies to identify their top priorities, publicly report program results, and identify ineffective and duplicative federal programs.
Each federal agency would designate a Chief Operating Officer and a Performance Improvement Officer with primary responsibility for pursuing cost-savings through the improved analysis and coordination of duplicative programs. These officials would also look at how to better coordinate administrative functions common to every agency, such as purchasing. However, the bill gives no specific direction to agencies on how to conduct any of these assessments.
Agency and governmentwide information relating to performance is to be posted to a new public website on a quarterly basis.
President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010.
The newly formed bipartisan Senate Budget Committee Task Force on Government Performance held its first hearing yesterday, with testimony from several experts on government efficiency, including the new OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeffrey Zients.
While several themes were discussed, most were not new ideas or concepts. However, there are two I thought interesting.
First, legislators are attempting to play a role in measuring performance, not just in their role of developing the federal budget, but also to instill some form of continuity in the program management system. Several speakers noted the problems that arise when a new measurement system is implemented with each new administration.
And in fact, Zientzs said the Obama administration is working to create a revamped system of setting goals and measurements that is more outcomes-based than previous efforts. But he said the administration doesn’t plan to “throw the baby out with the bath water” but will instead build upon and use those aspects of GRPA and PART that are effective.
Second, the administration and legislators both agree there should be some form of accountability – and even penalties and incentives - built into a new program management system.
The task force hearing can be viewed online by clicking here.
In his 2010 budget proposal released this week, President Obama sketched a broad outline of the steps he plans to take in an effort to “fundamentally reconfigure” how the federal government assesses program performance.
One of the six cornerstones of the administration’s plan for improved government management and performance is replacing the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) with a new “performance improvement and analysis framework.”
Instead of grading individual programs as “successful” or “unsuccessful” Obama plans to ask agency leaders to set priority goals, demonstrate progress in achieving goals, and explain performance trends. As a first step, over the next few months each major agency will identify a limited set of high-priority goals that will guide meetings with cabinet officers. In his budget, Obama also said he wants to streamline reporting requirements under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).
To read the text of the budget proposal relating to government management, click here.
Management Concepts’ Accountability for Federal Grants course offers more insight into this topic, helping you apply performance-based principles to grants projects. To learn more, click here.