Fed workers like Bush agenda, OMB says

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Federal employees for the most part are pleased with the President's Management Agenda because more attention is being paid to developing their abilities, a top official with the Office of Management and Budget said today.

"It's paying attention to results. It's paying attention to outcomes," said Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management. "I believe federal employees see the President's Management Agenda as being good for them."

That agenda lets agencies abandon outdated practices and take advantage of new technologies, he said. This leads to a more positive and "employee-friendly" workplace, Johnson said, speaking this morning at the Interagency Resources Management Conference 2003 here.

The majority of federal employees were satisfied with their pay and benefits, he said, adding that less than 2 percent of government workers leave voluntarily. However, he recognized the need in the next few years to pay employees based on their job performance.

"Hopefully, more attention will be paid to rewarding top performers," Johnson said.

Agencies as a whole are also grasping the management agenda, setting their own goals and mapping where they want to be, rather than just following tasks presented by the administration, he said.

"This also says to me that what started off as the President's Management Agenda has become, in a way, the agencies' management agenda," Johnson said.

Agency leaders are seeing the management agenda's benefits, examining the key areas for project improvement. Johnson listed four points that lead to a successful project 100 percent of the time:

* Commitment from senior-level officials.

* A detailed plan and time line.

* Clear accountability, including one person in charge of each major piece of the project.

* An aggressive and unconditional program action plan.

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