Nearly every agency's e-gov progress score drops on PMA

Twenty-one agencies saw their progress grade drop under the final fiscal 2007 President’s Management Agenda scorecard because officials failed to develop and implement an information technology breach notification policy by Sept. 22.

The Office of Management and Budget required agencies to create this new process in a May 22 memo on safeguarding and responding to personal identifiable information. However, it looks as though no agency took that action.

Agencies traditionally do not see their progress scores drop because OMB focuses on status scores. But one agency chief information officer said no one remembered this requirement, including OMB, until its officials were reviewing the grading criteria.

Under e-government status scores, only the Justice Department saw its score drop to yellow, while the departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Labor, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Small Business Administration and the Smithsonian Institution improved.

OMB grades agencies every quarter on their progress in meeting certain criteria under e-government and on four other categories: human capital, competitive sourcing, financial performance and budget and performance integration. The White House gives agencies red, yellow or green scores depending on how well they meet all, some, or none of the criteria.

For the 2007 fourth quarter scorecard, Labor returned to being the only organization with green scores in all five categories. The Social Security Administration has four green scores, but has a red in e-government, while the State Department has three greens and two yellows.

Overall, agencies received 51 green scores, 34 yellow marks and 19 red grades.

“At this point, we’re very focused on institutionalizing these reforms through 2008 and beyond,” Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, said in a statement. “Over the last six years, federal employees have developed significant new employee, financial, cost, investment and performance management skills, and we want to ensure federal agencies continue to improve each year as a result.”

Agencies have made the most progress under human capital as none received a red score, while only the Department of Health and Human Services earned a red mark under budget and performance integration.

Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology, said in a statement that e-government initiatives are affecting all facets of government. She said 23 agencies use the Federal Docket Management System under the E-Rulemaking project. Those 23 agencies account for about 80 percent of all agency rulemakings.

Evans also said 88 percent of all systems have been certified and accredited, while 81 percent have completed a privacy impact assessment.

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