Administration orders accountability for program performance

The Bush administration issued an executive order Nov. 13 to improve federal program performance and make agencies accountable for the performance of their programs.

Under the terms of the order, agency heads must approve annual and long-term goals toward improved program performance, specific plans for achieving them and approaches to measure them. Agencies must put in place the means to ensure continuous accountability for program goals and using resources in the most efficient way to accomplish program goals.

The Office of Management and Budget will provide guidance to agencies on the content and schedule of the program goals and the program performance information to be available on the agency Web site.

Agencies will select an agency performance improvement officer, who will be a member of the Senior Executive Service or of equivalent standing, to lead the program performance effort. That includes overseeing the development of program goals and plans and the agency’s annual performance plans, convene the agency personnel to assess the performance of individual programs and determine how to improve them.

The agency performance improvement officer must be “sufficiently aggressive toward full achievement” of this effort, President Bush said in the order.

OMB also will establish a Performance Improvement Council consisting of agency improvement officers and an OMB representative to support implementation of the policy, exchange information and best practices to accelerate better program performance and monitor agencies’ progress.

Last week, Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, said the administration will put the program performance initiative in place in the next nine to 12 months.

“We want attention paid at the highest level of every agency of how programs perform,” he said at a Nov. 7 conference of the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis.

The goals that are detailed in the Program Assessment Rating Tool, or 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.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.