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.
Department Updates


Using the President's Management Agenda to Empower Entrepreneurs

SBA Seal

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has struggled to bring about effective management reform. While the General Accounting Office and our own Inspector General have cited several management challenges facing the agency in future, planned responses to date have fallen short at implementation.s doorstep. However, things are starting to change at SBA. Using the President.s Management Agenda (PMA) as our framework, we are beginning to really address some of the challenges that the agency faces.

Challenge:    In the past, efforts to address management challenges stalled before problems were solved.
Solution:    Establish a high-level executive steering committee to spearhead implementation of the Management Agenda and hold the members accountable.
Challenge:    Critical workforce shortages.
Solution:    Move employees from "backroom" functions, like loan processing and servicing, to direct service for small businesses.
Challenge:    Mobilizing workers in times of disaster.
Solution:    Partner with private-sector employment firms to increase access to temporary workers nationwide.
Challenge:    Small Business compliance with the maze of government laws and regulation.
Solution:    Create an on-line tool to help small businesses get direct on-line assistance in complying with laws and regulations related to employment, taxation, environment, and workplace health and safety.
Challenge:    Using meaningful performance measures and showing the cost of performance.
Solution:    Redefine agency performance measures so they are outcome-oriented and present the full cost, including all overhead expenses, of operating programs.
A newly constituted executive steering committee is charged with the task of implementing strategic initiatives meant to support the PMA and the Administrator's vision of becoming more innovative in program development, simplifying service delivery, and renewing our dedication to small businesses. We also designed an "Execution Scorecard" to monitor progress on key projects and milestones necessary to achieve the results. We monitor actual performance and expenditures against plans on a monthly basis, with quarterly updates presented to the Administrator. We hold senior managers accountable for their progress on our management improvement initiatives through annual performance agreements. Our goal is to make the entire organization and its people accountable for improving, once and for all, the management of the agency.

Strategic Management of Human Capital

Like the rest of government, SBA has a human capital challenge. A large portion of our workforce is eligible to retire. The organization is making sure we know what workforce we need and how to get it.

For instance, we are making sure that the mix of people we have to perform our missions is consistent with our efforts to transform the way SBA does business. For example, many of SBA's district offices continue to use their valuable and limited resources to perform "backroom" banking functions, such as loan processing and servicing. These are activities that are performed more efficiently and effectively by our lending partners, a vast network of private and non-profit resource partners we use to deliver financial products and contracting and entrepreneurial development services. To address this problem, we are shifting the focus of our field resources toward direct customer service, centralizing more of our "backroom" functions, relying more on technology to improve our business processes, and addressing our human capital challenges by training staff in our core competency, directly serving small businesses.

Commercial Services Management

SBA is using the Competitive Sourcing initiative to address another of our human capital challenges. A very large and flexible contingency workforce supports our Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) program. Following a disaster, ODA mobilizes whatever number of temporary workers it needs to respond quickly to the financial needs of disaster victims. If subjected to competition, these employment services might be provided by private-sector firms at more competitive rates. We are hiring outside vendors with A-76 experience to help the agency identify these and other similar positions that might be ripe for competition, and perform the cost comparisons that will determine the most efficient way to perform the activity.

Expanded E-Government

Finding, understanding and complying with the myriad of governmental laws and regulations is a major challenge for any business, but it is particularly tough for small businesses and a significant impediment to their success. Other impediments exist because of the loads of paperwork involved and time consumed in filling out loan applications, obtaining certifications, and accessing information on entrepreneurial development.
Profile of Success: To simplify small business navigation of government regulations, SBA has recently built, a legal and regulatory gateway on the Internet that provides compliance assistance in a cost-effective and timely manner. Accessed over 160,000 times per week, the Business Compliance One Stop (BCOS) has won the agency a .2002 e-Government Performance Leader Award.. Also, in October, the BCOS team announced the completion of an integrated National Business Registration application that fulfills both state and Federal EIN requirements and is estimated to save the potential 4 million business users over $200 million annually.

As the managing partner of one of the 24 cross-agency E-Gov initiatives - -- SBA is developing a set of web-based navigation tools to help small businesses "find the needle in the haystack of regulations". These tools will include online compliance assistance guides in the areas of employment, taxation, environment, and workplace health and safety. SBA is also developing a harmonized reporting system for companies that perform industrial mining, which will save the industry 25,000 man-hours and an estimated $1 million in meeting the reporting requirements of both state and federal agencies.

Performance Improvement

Profile of Success: SBA has been recognized in the public sector for its use of an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) model to integrate its performance plan and budget request. This model allows us to present the full cost, including all overhead expenses, of operating our programs. In the FY 2004 Performance Plan and Budget Request, SBA will present comprehensive cost and performance results for each program in a single table. This will provide greater accountability by helping readers track both the level of services provided by programs and their efficiency, as measured by outcome per dollar spent.
SBA has dedicated itself to measure its success by the success of small businesses. As such, it has called on its program offices to develop performance measures that focus more on the impacts on small business (i.e., outcomes) and less on the program activities of the agency (i.e., outputs).

These performance measures as well as those for all strategic initiatives are tracked using a new intranet-based Execution, which will show each month how each initiative and program is progressing. Cost comparisons and year-end results in performance are then used to allocate resources for the coming budget cycle. SBA has also developed a comprehensive planning document to integrate the annual budget, IT, and personnel planning processes to assure cohesive planning. These activities will help us ensure that our investments improve our performance.

Melanie R. Sabelhaus, Deputy Administrator

Department Updates:

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