3 agencies tout PMA's value

OMB's Johnson says score cards improved agencies' effectiveness in the past 7 years

3 PMA measures

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Labor Department and the Social Security Administration have received green scores in all five performance categories on the President’s Management Agenda. Here are some of their improvements.

  • EPA increased its pollution control enforcement. Companies spent $10.5 billion on that type of equipment in 2007, up from about $10.3 billion the year before.

  • Labor consolidated 30 information technology service components and expects to save $3 million on network maintenance costs as a result.

  • SSA transformed its disability claims process by replacing a paper-based system with an online system.

— Jason Miller

Marcus Peacock carries a laminated card in his pocket that lists 10 management goals of the Environmental Protection Agency for 2008. Peacock, EPA’s deputy administrator, uses those bullet points to remind himself of what is possible in his final nine months in office.

Those goals include developing a performance management division at EPA and deploying an electronic dashboard system in each region to track performance metrics.

Peacock has another long-shot goal for EPA: to earn the President’s Quality Award for a second straight year. No agency has done that.

Peacock, a former Office of Management and Budget official, said EPA is within reach of its goals based on its progress on the President’s Management Agenda.

EPA, the Social Security Administration and the Labor Department were the only agencies that received green scores on the latest PMA score card in all five management categories: e-government, human capital, competitive sourcing, financial performance, and budget and performance integration.

OMB grades agencies each quarter on their success in meeting goals in each category. Labor has received green scores in all five areas on nine of the past 10 score cards.

“These three agencies today are quite advanced in their ability to be effective,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management.

“We’ve come a long way in the last six to seven years, and all of this is because of work done by federal employees.”

Johnson showed the first score card from 2001, which had mostly red scores, indicating unsatisfactory. In contrast, the yellow and green ratings that dominate the most recent score card indicate mixed results and success.

OMB said 82 percent of all scores are yellow or green, up from 75 percent in 2006 and 15 percent in 2001. There are 17 red scores, but only two are for e-government.

EPA earned its latest green score by further implementing a human capital plan, Peacock said. The agency has had a workforce plan since 2003, but it has gained a better understanding of where its skill gaps are and what needs to be done to close them, he said.

“We have about 12 skill sets or competencies that we will need in the near future,” Peacock said. “We’ve worked on four of them and are starting on the other eight.”

SSA’s final push for a green rating occurred when it awarded a contract to Carlson-Wagonlit Government Travel, one of the three governmentwide e-travel systems, said Mary Glenn-Croft, the agency’s deputy commissioner for budget, finance and management.

“We worked with OMB to develop a migration plan,” Glenn-Croft said. “That gave us a double jump — from red to green. I don’t think any agency has done that before.”

Glenn-Croft said the PMA is helping SSA prepare for the baby boom retirement wave that started in January. “We will be able to deal with this workload better because of the PMA,” she said. “We have improved productivity by at least 2 percent a year since 2001.”

Patrick Pizzella, Labor’s assistant secretary for administration and management and chief information officer, pointed to a reduction in the number of performance management systems departmentwide from eight to one.

“We have 6.3 percent fewer full-time employees than we did in 2001 and our discretionary budget is lower, but productivity is up,” Pizzella said. “The key to this all was putting in place a human capital plan. Because human capital runs through the other four PMA areas, we had to get it right first.” 

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above