White House to demand better program performance

White House officials expects to issue an executive order in the next week that aims to improve program performance as a function of spending taxpayers’ money well and better every year, said Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management. The administration will put it in place in the next nine to 12 months.

The order will hold program chiefs more accountable for the goals that affect their program performance and make their performance outcomes more visible, he said at a conference of the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis Nov. 7. To accomplish this, OMB will create performance assessment councils at every agency. There will be more scrutiny of program goals every year and more attention on program performance improvement plans. Senior managers will meet at least quarterly with program managers about how performance is improving.

“We want to be actively seeking to become accountable for how our programs perform, formally held accountable for how they perform,” Johnson said.

The goals that are detailed in the Program Assessment Rating Tool, (PART), should be the same as the budget goals and a program’s general goals for the year for performance, outcome, efficiency and performance improvement. Agencies use PART, which consists of a scoring system for answers to 25 questions, to measure success of their programs.

The key to accountability is transparency, Johnson said. “We want attention paid at the highest level of every agency of how programs perform,” he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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