A new focus on performance management expected

Recent political and legislative developments could re-energize the discussion on performance management and focus government attention on the issue.

One such development is the Telework Enhancement Act that President Barack Obama signed into law in December. It requires agencies to establish policies for their employees to work from locations outside the office. And that, experts say, can’t be done without developing outcome-based performance measures.

“There’s always been a need for performance standards in government, but attendance has been used as the default instead,” said Jon Desenberg, senior policy director at the Performance Institute. “That’s not possible with telework.”

The boost in Republicans’ standing in the new Congress — into the majority in the House and with greater numbers in the Senate — could also bode well for performance management because it has traditionally been a Republican issue. For example, it was a very public issue during the Bush administration, as exemplified by the President’s Management Agenda.

However, the new Congress could also bring some pain for government employees. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has recommended going beyond the recent across-the-board federal pay freeze by also halting step increases and has said he will introduce legislation to that end.

But such a move could promote even more discussion about performance management, Desenberg said.

“Unlike the Bush administration, the current administration hasn’t really gotten involved with performance management,” he said. “With Republicans coming back into power, we’ll likely see it [come] to the fore again.”

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Fri, Jan 14, 2011 Paul Thompson DC

I agree wholeheartedly that Republicans pay more attention to performance management. But the approach this time is likely to be much more punitive than under President Bush. Say what you want about the previous Administration, there was a sincere interest in promoting better Federal management, and not just punishing Feds or privatizing their jobs. The approach from Mr. Chaffetz and others is likely to be much different. And on the Senate side, a huge void has been left with the retirement of George Voinovich, a champion of sound management and of Federal employees in general. Sad to say, we will not see his like again soon.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group