We Are Focused on Results
We've just released the list of programs that will be assessed with the PART in preparation for the FY 2006 Budget. 2006 Program List. With the additional 200+ programs, we will have assessed more than 600
account for approximately 60 percent of the Federal Budget. So we will be figuring out ways to improve the performance of
programs that are delivering $1.3 trillion worth of services to the American people. And then we.ll keep doing it until
we've assessed all the government's programs.
I've been making the rounds - meeting with most of the leads for the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative to track
our progress in making our results-orientation more of a habit. I am proud of where we are today and will be even prouder
of where we'll be in July and thereafter. One of the biggest challenges, of course, is coming up with good,
outcome-oriented performance and efficiency measures that we can use to assess whether we are achieving the right goals in
the most efficient way. So we have posted an impressive list of outcome and efficiency measures that agencies are using
today. Performance Measure Examples As you can see from the table, even
though what we do is
sometimes difficult to measure, agencies are committed to finding the right way to measure it.
Coming up with the right measures will help us improve the PART ratings of the forty percent of programs that cannot
demonstrate results. To make the PART process easier, clearer and more useful, we have clarified the PART guidance and
issued it early so agencies can conclude the PART process in time to use their ratings in their internal budget process.
None of the PART questions changed this year, but the guidance did. And we trained more than a thousand agency employees
on changes to the guidance and how to administer the PART. To assist agencies even further, we have compiled a list of
Frequently Asked Questions (with answers). They will be posted soon.
Clay Johnson has been using the bully pulpit to persuade Congress that the PART and agency efforts to infuse performance
information into the way they manage can help Members of Congress get more from the agencies and programs they oversee. In
one testimony, Clay told a House Subcommittee:
Together we can increase the focus on results and make the Federal Government a results-oriented organization. And all
benefit from this change: citizens, taxpayers, Federal employees, and Congress.
In front of a more skeptical audience, the House Science Subcommittee on Environment, Technology, and Standards, Clay told
Members who questioned the applicability of the PART to Research and Development programs:
The PART is a valuable tool now, as the General Accounting Office and others have asserted, and it will get better each
year. As more and more program assessments are conducted, the vast majority of budget and management decisions will be
significantly influenced by information about how programs are performing. Agencies, including EPA, will be better able to
describe to Congress and the taxpayer what his or her funding is purchasing and will be managing so that each year
improvements in efficiency and service delivery can be documented.
And in a report to Appropriations, Budget,
and Oversight Committees, Clay cited examples of "[d]epartments and agencies . .
. systematically asking what it costs to produce a desired result, and whether the cost is acceptable and/or the most
fiscally responsible way to achieve that result." One of my favorite examples:
Because it determined that its guaranteed loan liquidation program was not cost-effective, the Small Business
Administration centralized this function in one office from 69 district offices. Concurrently, SBA has increased reliance
on financial partners in liquidating defaulted loans. As a result, SBA staffing requirements have decreased from 170 to 40
employees and work is being completed more thoroughly and quickly. The changes are estimated to reduce SBA liquidation
costs from $44 million to approximately $15 million per year - a two-thirds reduction in cost . and have freed district
employees to focus on the delivery of targeted programs and services rather than liquidation functions.
We are all working hard to assess our performance and fix what's not working. The meat of the PARTs, of course, is in the
recommendations to improve a program's performance. I've seen two demonstrations of agencies - State and Interior - that
have automated the PART process and made it integral to their budget and management processes. The most attractive feature
of both of these systems is the fact that they track the implementation of PART recommendations. Other agencies are
looking for ways to use the tools Interior and State have in place, and I will be working with many of you to see how we
can make these systems available to you. The greatest value of these systems is ensuring that PART recommendations to
improve program performance are implemented and documented.