All levels of government are under fiscal stress trying to meet greater demand for public assistance. This environment increases the magnitude of risk from improper payments and other wasteful practices.

The Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation

To maximize resources and impact, federal, state, and local governments must work together on collaborative approaches to getting the right benefits to the right people at the right time. In 2010, Congress and the President enacted the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation (Partnership Fund) to develop and assess pilot projects that meet this goal; the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administers the Partnership Fund’s $32.5 million appropriation authorized through FY 2012.

Supported by specific appropriations language, OMB constructed a new and innovative collaborative process to identify, vet, and propose pilot projects. At the heart of the process is the Collaborative Forum, an organization outside government control that includes state and local government representatives, industry, associations that represent state and other interests, and the advocate community. With over 200 members, the Collaborative Forum works diligently to explore best practices and new ideas for how to improve integrity, efficiency, and service delivery across a wide range of programs.

Program integrity is not the only focus of the Obama Administration’s efforts in this area. On February 28, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to encourage agencies to work with state, local, and tribal governments, to look for ways that administrative requirements could be reduced to save money and deliver better results (see OMB issued implementing guidance for this Presidential issuance in Memorandum M-11-21 on April 29, 2011 (see Taken together, these policies demonstrate a significant commitment by the Administration to work across all levels of government using a strong collaborative approach as demonstrated by the Partnership Fund.

From these efforts, innovative ideas from key stakeholders have emerged that have the potential to improve services, increase efficiency, and reduce cost, especially in program areas that cross agency or intergovernmental boundaries. To that end, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for The Business of Government worked with OMB to convene a Roundtable of leading federal, state, local and academic, and private sector experts for a discussion of concrete steps that can be taken to improve human service delivery and identify even more strategies for successful innovation. The Roundtable identified key areas where the Partnership Fund can look to develop new ideas for pilots. Moreover, the discussion pointed to longer term opportunities for expanding the goals of the Fund and Presidential Memorandum.

Listen to Dan Chenok's interview on Federal News Radio about the report.