Smythe to OMB: Manage thyself

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The Office of Management and Budget has named Austin Smythe as the lead for implementing the President's Management Agenda within the agency that oversees the governmentwide goals.

Smythe already serves as executive associate director at OMB. He has been called upon in the past to lead governmentwide oversight of the management agenda when the deputy director for management job was vacant.

OMB has struggled with internally implementing the management agenda; it is one of eight agencies still stuck at red in all five areas on the management scorecard. OMB's new leaders found that it was unclear who was in charge of the agency's own performance improvement, Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, said July 14 at the scorecard update press briefing.

The agenda covers everything from expanding the use of e-government to improved performance to integrating budget and performance information for better decision-making. The agency's new leaders are not proud that OMB cannot meet the goals that it helped develop, Johnson said.

Other agencies have attributed at least part of their progress to putting a single senior executive in charge of implementing the management agenda. By naming Smythe to fill that role, leaders hope that a single senior executive can create change at OMB as well, Johnson said.

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