EPA, SSA get all greens on score card

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Social Security Administration joined the Labor Department as the only agencies to achieve green scores in all five areas of the President’s Management Agenda.

EPA improved its score in the human capital area, while SSA jumped from red to green in e-government in the latest score card, which the Office of Management and Budget released today.

Labor has been green in all five areas — human capital, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government and performance improvement — for nine of the past 10 score cards.

“These three agencies today are quite advanced in their ability to be effective,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, at a press conference. “We’ve come a long way in the last six to seven years, and all of this is because of work done by federal employees.”

Johnson showed the first score card from 2001, and it was primarily red. The latest one is primarily yellow and green. OMB said 82 percent of all grades are yellow or green -- up from 75 percent in 2006 and 15 percent in 2001.

In all, there are 17 red scores, but none are in performance improvement and only two are in e-government.

Johnson also pointed to the progress scores showing that all but five agencies earned a green score in e-government after all of them dropped last time. He said this was an example of agencies’ continued support and cooperation with the score card process.

Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology, said agencies now have certified and accredited 90 percent of all systems, which has been a long-standing but elusive goal. OMB set the goal in 2004.

Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said OMB will have to re-examine the competitive sourcing scores in light of language in the omnibus spending and Defense Authorization bills that curtails such initiatives.

“These restrictions do not kill competitive sourcing,” he said. “We do plan to announce, plan and complete competitions, but it will require us to do some work.”

Denett said his office will issue guidance next month on how agencies can deal with the congressional restrictions.

He also said competitive sourcing is saving the government money and OFPP will soon have proof of that. Officials are collecting data on 90 agency programs that are expected to save $3.5 billion in a 10-year period.

The Health and Human Services Department already turned in a report showing it will save $24.5 million from five competitive-sourcing studies, which is $2.5 million more than it had estimated.

“We had an outside source validate these results,” Denett said. “These results are very encouraging. I don’t think all will come out this way, but this shows the savings are real.”

In the other areas of the President’s Management Agenda, Robert Shea, OMB’s associate director for management, said only 22 percent of agency programs now rate as ineffective under the performance improvement initiative.

“This is great progress,” he said. “I expect several agencies to improve their status over the next year.”

He said every agency has designated a performance improvement officer, as required by an executive order issued in November 2007.

“Because of our progress, we can have a lot of conversations now that we couldn’t have three years ago,” Johnson said.

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