E-gov scores stabilize

Executive Branch Management Scorecards

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After a quarter of falling e-government scores on the President’s Management Agenda, scores stabilized overall with a few improvements in the third quarter of fiscal 2006, according to the Executive Branch Management Scorecard that was released today.

In the second quarter, nine departments and agencies slipped by a letter grade, but during the quarter from April to June, three agencies improved their scores. The departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development improved to green, and the Commerce Department to yellow.

Only the Small Business Administration fell to red, the lowest score. It had earned the highest score, green, for e-government in the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

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.

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.

Of the 26 departments and agencies on the score card, 16 earned red scores in financial performance, the most failing scores of any category. No ratings changed in that category from last quarter. The workforce category had 15 green scores, the most of the five categories.

Linda Combs, controller at the Office of Management and Budget, said in a July 26 statement that improving financial performance will take a multi-layered effort. She said financial processes must be standardized and systems should be moved to shared-service providers. OMB is increasing the transparency of the available solutions by establishing performance measures, she said.

More than half of the agencies showed no improvements in any category on the latest score card. The Labor Department 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 green, an improvement from last quarter in the workforce issues category.

“We are progressively improving our ability to improve program and agency performance,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management.

Additionally, the e-government initiative continues to make progress. In April, GovBenefits.gov expanded its services and made state-funded, state-administered programs available on its Web site, so that government benefits information is available on one site. GovBenefits has provided information to more than 22 million visitors and referred nearly 5 million users to benefit programs.

“While we continue to adopt these management disciplines in all agencies, we need to ensure that we, in fact, use these new management abilities to improve performance,” Johnson said.


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