E-gov scores drop

The President's Management Agenda

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Agencies need to emphasize the importance of e-government initiatives with Congress, said Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management.

On the Executive Branch Management Scorecard for the second quarter of fiscal 2006, nine agencies’ scores were downgraded for their progress in instituting e-government initiatives.

OMB said Congress is partly to blame for the dropping grades, which reflect agencies’ difficulty in getting congressional approval for the funding necessary to cover the costs of e-government services.

“We are going to continue to reach out to Congress on e-gov and work with them to ensure that e-gov projects are able to provide the greater levels of services demanded by our citizens,” Johnson said.

OMB released the latest grades yesterday. The second quarter runs from Jan. 1 to March 31.

The departments of Commerce, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; NASA; the Office of Personnel Management; and the Small Business Administration had lower scores in the e-government category.

The Social Security Administration, however, improved to green, joining the Labor Department and the National Science Foundation to bring the total number of green scores in the e-government category to three.

The score card evaluates agencies in five areas on the President’s Management Agenda: workforce, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government, and budget and performance integration.

A green score means an agency is implementing its initiatives as planned; it is the top rating an agency can receive. Yellow shows a need for adjustments to achieve the objectives in a timely manner, and red means an initiative is in serious jeopardy.

More than half of the agencies showed no improvements in any category on the latest score card. Labor continued to be the only agency with green scores in all five areas. The Department of Veterans Affairs had the lowest overall scores, with four reds and a yellow.

The Homeland Security Department moved from yellow to green in competitive sourcing, its only green score. The House Government Reform Committee, however, hammered DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday for its contracting bungles after Hurricane Katrina.

The U.S. Agency for International Development climbed from red to yellow in financial performance, and Justice moved to green in budget and performance integration.

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