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Posted by on Oct 30, 2009

A New Look at Performance Measures?

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.

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