Agencies getting greener

Federal agency rankings on the newest quarterly President's Management Agenda score card show general improvement in departments' implementation of the governance agenda.

In the score card, Office of Management and Budget officials evaluate agency status and progress in five areas: workforce management, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government and budget and performance integration. Green scores show success, yellow means an agency has achieved some but not all of the criteria and red indicates serious flaws.

Among the agencies that have most notably improved their implementation performance this past quarter is the General Services Administration, which improved its score in three areas. The agency has gone from yellow to green in competitive sourcing, and from red to yellow in e-government and budget and performance integration categories.

Other notable improvements were attained by the Labor and State departments. Both agencies earned two new green scores; labor in financial performance and e-government, State in e-government and budget and performance integration.

No agency has a perfect across-the-board green score. The Energy and Transportation departments, have four green scores. The Smithsonian Institution is rated a solid red, however.

The quarterly score card has critics. Some agency officials have called the rating mechanism an overly simplistic system that does not account for structural differences. Others, however, have praised it for offering an easily accessible measurement of achievement.

"The key to all this success and improvement is our clearly defining what we want to accomplish, the definition of success, and then holding people accountable for developing and implementing aggressive, detailed action plans to get there," wrote Clay Johnson, OMB deputy director for management, in a letter to agencies.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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