OMB Updates Performance.Gov: Some Q&As

Last week, OMB released a new and substantially improved Performance.gov website, with in-depth performance information on individual agency priority goals. This represents a significant step forward from the initial release in August 2011, which listed and described the goals, but did not provide much detail about them.  I had a chance to talk with some OMB staff about what’s new about the website, and take a quick browse through it. Here’s a summary of what I learned.

The Operator's Manual - An Update of Chapter 2: Performance

The IBM Center is releasing an update to its 2009 “The Operator’s Manual for the New Administration” for the use of new executives in the federal government. This updated chapter reflects statutory changes since 2009 and provides insights on how executives can improve performance in their agencies’ programs.

 

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT: Performance

The Federal Performance System: Look Back to Look Forward

The forum participants comprised a range of stakeholders in the federal performance and results management system:  agency performance improvement officers, strategic planners, program evaluation leaders, and priority goal leaders.  In addition, there were participants from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Federal agencies, Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service, academia, state and local government, unions, and non-profits – all of whom play a role in improving government performance.

Federal Government Reform Resources: The IBM Center

There are six “go to” topics in the IBM Center’s Resource Center for incoming new political appointees as well as for veteran career executives preparing for the new year ahead

Topic 1:  Helping New Leaders Succeed.  The IBM Center has updated its two most popular books for new leaders in government:

Four Actions to Better Integrate Performance into Budgeting

A Government Accountability Office survey last year reports that the percentage of federal managers saying they used performance information in allocating resources actually dropped between 1997 and 2013.  Is it worth another try? In a new report for the IBM Center, Dr.

Implementing the DATA Act: Encouraging Signs

The new law gives agencies three years to implement a set of new reporting requirements to track federal spending, but it will be unbelievably complex – requiring changes in federal regulations, and in the written terms of every federal grant, contract, and loan agreement of $25,000 or more.  These changes will likely cascade to agreements between states and localities with their sub-grantees and sub-contractors, as well.  Congressional sponsors of the legislation told the Administration “we’re going to hold your fee

How government can securely leverage cloud environments

From the OMB “Cloud First” strategy, to GSA’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the government is following commercial best practices to leverage the cloud.

Cloud capabilities can be provided over the public Internet or through connections over private networks -- and government does both. Some agencies establish private clouds due to perceived risks of making data available over public channels. At the same time, they are moving toward greater use of the open Internet, including public clouds.

Harnessing Evidence and Evaluation: Insights from Kathy Stack, Advisor, Evidence-Based Innovation, OMB

In a climate of fiscal austerity, it is far better to cut programs with minimal impact and improve existing programs, based on evidence from high-quality program evaluations. What is program evaluation? How can evidence and rigorous evaluation be best integrated into decision-making? Kathy Stack, Advisor for Evidence-Based Innovation, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shares her insights on these topics and more.

Are We There Yet? Progress on CAP Goals

These four-year goals were first announced with the release of the FY 2015 budget back in March. Cobert’s announcement accompanies the first round of statutorily-required quarterly reports on the progress of the 15 Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals. 

New: Progress Reports on Agency Priority Goals

The Obama Administration in 2009 directed agencies to identify a small handful of priorities that they would commit to achieving in a two-year timeframe.  This initiative was embedded into the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.  Agencies are required to identify priority goals and report on their progress quarterly.  In late June, agency progress reports were posted on the governmentwide performance.gov website.

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