Agencies improve internal processes

On the latest Executive Branch Management Scorecard, agencies made the most improvements in commercial services management, which until July was called competitive sourcing, according to a quarterly review released today.

The State and Transportation departments and the Army Corps of Engineers improved to the top score of green — up from yellow, the midrange score — because they streamlined their internal business operations. The Veterans Affairs Department moved up from a red — the lowest score — to yellow. Eight other agencies remained at green.

The scores reflect agencies' progress on the President's Management Agenda in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

Under commercial services management, many agencies re-engineered internal business processes to close gaps in their support services, according to information from the Office of Management and Budget. The efforts don’t involve public/private competitions for government work.

But agencies use many of the same management practices that they did for competitive sourcing. For example, they focus on measuring workload, analyzing costs and planning work based on employee resources to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

OMB uses a traffic-light system to grade agencies on the agenda’s various goals. Green means the agency is meeting all its targets for that particular measure. Red signifies trouble, and yellow highlights partial progress with some lapses.

Agencies are graded in five areas: commercial services management, human capital, financial performance, e-government and performance improvement. Overall, 51 percent of the scores were green in the fourth quarter, a decline from a high of 80 percent in the third quarter.

Here is how agencies fared on the latest score card, ranked by the number of green scores awarded in each category:

* Performance improvement: 19 green, seven yellow.
* Financial performance: 15 green, four yellow, seven red.
* Human capital: 14 green, 11 yellow, one red.
* Commercial services management: 12 green, 11 yellow, three red.
* E-government: six green, 14 yellow, 6 red.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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