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Government Performance System
July 8, 2009 at 10:20 am #75393
Have cross-posted to Human Resources Group
A recent report released by Accenture, the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) and OMB Watch.
Building a Better Government Performance System
Recommendations to the Obama Addministration
“It’s crucially important we revamp and revise [performance measurement systems] in consultation with agencies and Congress.”1 – OMB Director Peter Orszag
The reform and enhancement of current performance systems will be integral to the Obama administration’s effort to enact major changes in the federal government and throughout the country. Without a system supported by a variety of stakeholders that has the capacity to identify and then communicate progress on major initiatives and the programs and projects used to enact those initiatives, the broad goals and vision articulated during the 2008 presidential campaign and at the beginning of the administration will fall short.
While a variety of stakeholders may have conflicting views on the importance of various government programs, the public is entitled to know the goals of those programs, how they are performing, and have access to government performance data. This information is crucial not only to federal program managers and OMB staff, but to all who are involved in the implementation of and debate about government programs and services.
Government performance systems offer the unique opportunity to involve a variety of players in a conversation about not only priorities, competing expectations, and how well government is working, but how to make its programs and services work better, be more equitable, and be more responsive to diverse needs. These systems are of paramount importance to improving government, to responding to societal inequities, and perhaps most importantly, to rebuilding our faith in achieving success together through government.
In order to do this, current performance systems will need to undergo significant reforms in order to open up internal compliance-based review processes that typically result in static ratings to a more dynamic conversation about continually improving performance.
This report is grouped into six main topic sections (Reforming PART and GPRA, Promoting Leadership and Accountability, Fostering Policy Innovation and Ownership with Positive Reinforcement, Balancing the Roles of OMB and Agencies, Engaging outside Stakeholders, and Improving Data) that detail reforms and improvements that can be made to current systems used by the federal government. No one topic is more or less important than the others, and many overlap and intertwine in a variety of ways. Therefore, a comprehensive overhaul that incorporates changes in each of these areas is crucial to ensuring the creation of a new government performance system is fair, effective, and widely used.
July 13, 2009 at 10:45 am #75396
Related commentary/story/blog posting
Performance Management Advice: Build on Foundation
By John Kamensky
Last week, another consortium of good government proponents released a report, “Building a Better Government Performance System: Recommendations to the Obama Administration.” Sponsored by the Accenture Institute for Public Service Value, the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and OMB Watch, the report reflects the results of a workshop they hosted last year as their public service contribution to the transition effort.
The resulting report has both principles and recommendations to the Obama Administration on how it might best move forward on its management initiative “Putting Performance First.” Robert Brodsky, with Government Executive, characterized the bottom line of the report as “Groups Warn Against Reinventing the Wheel on Management Reform,” which is actually a big step forward!
* Enhance the public’s right to know how well government programs work
* Strengthen leadership and accountability from top to bottom
* Modify, don’t trash, current systems
* Re-balance the roles of OMB and federal agencies
* Improve performance and accountability with positive reinforcement
* Seek input from outside stakeholders
* Reform the implementation of the OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool and the Government Performance and Results Act by “developing ownership throughout agencies over performance measurement and reporting.”
* Promote leadership and accountability by having leader focus on results and ensuring federal employees buy into the performance system.
* Foster policy innovation and ownership with the use of positive reinforcement and an emphasis on improvement, not punishment.
* Balance the roles of OMB and federal agencies by engaging agencies, and agency performance improvement officers, in program assessments and making OMB’s performance activities more transparent.
* Engage outside stakeholders in providing feedback on program performance as well as linking performance reviews to the congressional budget process.
Some of these recommendations had been made in earlier reports (see GAO and IBM Center), but the good news is that the Administration seems to be committed to taking action on a number of them.
With a Comment
Without the backing of the working stiffs there will be problems not change. What is needed is a all hands 360 degree evaluation on where the workers stand, how they view their jobs and who they regularly work with outside the Federal government. I mean everyone down to janitors, tree markers, folks in the mail room etc. I found over my many years of Federal Service that in many cases these are the people who know what the real problem is and how to handle it. Morale seems to be going up this would be a good way to keep it moving up.
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