President George W. Bush: Resources for the President's Team The White House
President George W. Bush meets with Dan Bartlett, center, and Josh Bolten in the Oval Office Jan. 9, 2003.  White House photo by Eric Draper.
The Deputy Director for Mgmt
PMA updates, best practices, and general information.
Grading Implementation of the PMA.
Human Capital
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Commercial Services Management
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Improving Financial Performance
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Performance Improvement
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Sharing Best Practices
Stories of achieving breaktrough results in government.
The Five Initatives

Performance Improvement

The PART, in Scotland?

The rage that is the PART has caught on across the pond. Scotland just PARTed its own EPA. They took our worksheet and answered questions about the performance and management of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. According to its report, "The scores from the PART assessments were generally low, with all outcomes failing to demonstrate results to the standard required in the questionnaire." The report states that the conclusions we made regarding the United States EPA are equally applicable to the Scottish EPA, and they quote:

The purpose of each of the eleven programs is clear and most are well designed. Program management is generally good. However, the lack of measured results and appropriate outcome measures pulls overall ratings down... insufficient performance measures affected all programs about the same. As with many other agencies, to improve accountability further work will continue to focus on developing outcome-oriented performance measures, including efficiency metrics.

If it's catching on in Scotland, it must be here to stay.

Of course, we are well into our second year of PARTing. The second round of PARTs will be finished by the end of the summer. We'll finish off appeals of PART ratings just in time for the PARTs to be used in the upcoming preparation of the President's Budget.

We haven't forgotten last year's PARTs. We'll only update those where the circumstances have changed such that PART scores are likely to be different. But that should be a lot. We are systematically tracking the recommendations we made last year to improve the management and performance of programs. For example:

  • The PART we completed for the Airport Improvement Program found that smaller airports were more dependent on federal assistance than larger airports, which had greater access to other income sources, like landing fees. We therefore recommended that the funding formula for the program be changed so that funds are targeted primarily on medium and small airports. The Administration proposed such a change in the reauthorization of the program, although it has yet to be enacted by Congress. You can find references to the proposed changes in testimony by FAA Administrator Marion Blakely and in a press release issued by the Department of Transportation.
  • The Trio Upward Bound program, administered by the Department of Education, provides intensive services to improve academic performance and college preparation for high school students administered by the Department of Education. The PART we completed for the program found that it was inadequately targeted to the high-risk students who have potential for college but are not performing successfully in high school. In response to this finding, the Department of Education created a special competition among projects to award $18 million to projects that serve high-risk students. The Department will monitor the college enrollment rate for these participants and will use the results of this demonstration initiative to guide future changes in the Upward Bound program.

These and other recommendations are being monitored. The quality and aggressiveness of this follow-up will enhance the results we are achieving on behalf of the American people.


Robert Shea

The Five Initatives:

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