White House opens doors to its management

Bungled IT projects were once on the hot seat. Now federal managers are sitting there.

The White House opened its new Performance.gov website that tracks how well managers in an agency get their jobs done and advance the president’s management initiatives, such as in acquisition and financial management.

The new dashboard “provides a window into the Obama administration’s approach to improving federal government performance and ensuring accountability of senior officials for achieving results,” Jeffrey Zients, federal chief performance officer, wrote in a blog post Aug. 25.

The public can see how each agency is doing in meeting the goals for an initiative such as technology. The website also lays out how the government as a whole is doing in other areas, such as in open government. Performance.gov gives access to dashboards on management agendas, data and descriptions of best practices for those areas.

The website gives information on eight areas: acquisition; financial management; human resources; technology; performance improvement; open government; sustainability; and customer service. The site also displays information on those eight areas for 24 departments and agencies.

Zients wrote that the information on Performance.gov is the same information that agency officials use to run their regular data-driven reviews to find more return on investment and lower-cost ways to operate.

“The administration is strongly committed to investing in what works and fixing or cutting what does not,” he wrote.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) called the site a “common-sense” move toward more accountability.

“Today’s launch shows that the administration is serious,” said Carper, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security Subcommittee.

Performance.gov is a part of President Barack Obama's Open Government Initiative. Administration officials have tracked how government uses the money in others various areas with easy-to-understand websites such as Recovery.gov, USASpending.gov, and the IT Dashboard.

About the Author

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

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