Managing for Results
Undeterred by the winds of Hurricane Isabel, Clay Johnson testified before the House Government Reform Committee about the Administration's effort to make the government more results-oriented. He said, "Managing for results is still a new way of thinking for the Federal government. But it is doable and, because we are managing in times of continued budgetary constraints, it is necessary. This will happen. We will bring about this historic change in government management together."
The way we are bringing about this results orientation is by achieving the goals of the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative. More and more agencies are overcoming the challenges necessary to achieve each of the criteria on the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative Scorecard. The examples are manifest. The Department of Health and Human Services meets regularly to improve program performance through the use of available performance information. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a strategic plan that contains a limited number of outcome-oriented goals and objectives and incorporates PARTed performance measure in its budget and performance documents.
The Department of Labor's performance appraisal systems link to agency mission, goals and outcomes; effectively differentiate between various levels of performance; and provide consequences based on performance. The Environmental Protection Agency is able to show the full cost of achieving its performance goals and can accurately estimate the marginal cost of different levels of performance. NASA has a way to measure the efficiency for all of its programs.
The Department of Energy has achieved the criterion that assesses the extent to which agencies are improving their PART scores and using the PART to manage programs. By using the PART to justify funding requests and ensuring that fewer than 10% of PARTed programs received a Results Not Demonstrated rating, the Department of Energy has shown a commitment to improving program performance through the use of the PART.
Each of these agencies - and others - have much to teach us about what it takes to achieve the criteria on the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative. This linked chart shows which agencies have achieved each criterion, as well as the individual who is credited with leading the agency to that success.
Another major challenge facing the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative is getting Congress to use performance information in its deliberations and as the basis for its decision-making. Following up on Clay's testimony in September, we are hosting a series of lunches on Capitol Hill with select agencies, their authorizers and their appropriators. The purpose of the luncheons is to make appointees aware of the challenges they face in broadening acceptance of these initiatives on the Hill, as well as how they might address the challenges facing these initiatives. Agency officials will gain a better understanding of the needs of Congressional staff, especially the need for information about the performance of programs Congress funds and authorizes and the form such information should take. The added benefit of the luncheons is that Congressional staff will learn how agency efforts to implement the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative can help them do their jobs more effectively.
If we continue to communicate what we are trying to do - focus on results; make decisions based on performance - and share what we are learning, the promise of the Budget and Performance Integration Initiative will be realized.
The Five Initatives: