President's Management Agenda Update
We've released the year-end scorecard, and the good news is that signs of improvement outnumber distress signals:
- 11 departments or agencies show 17 changes for the better.
- 2 agencies slipped in the management of their finances. One of those, NASA, has reclaimed the clean opinion on its financial statements it lost the previous year, but too late to be reflected on this scorecard, which was prepared as of the end of December.
The Scorecard is working (Click here to see how your agency did: Full Scorecard). Clearly, it still shows a lot of agencies in the "red" for status. And that reflects the nature of the problems we are trying to solve - chronic longstanding management challenges that defy quick fixes. However, there is significant improvement since our initial evaluation. As of September 2001, only 15% of status scores were out of red. Today, more than a quarter of the scores are out of red.
On the progress side, where we assess the steps agencies are taking to get to green on status, we are seeing a commitment to address these areas of mismanagement where, as the President has said, "the opportunity to improve is the greatest." Last year, 15% of the scores were out of the red category. This year, 26% are out of the red. We've almost doubled the percentage of scores out of the red and we expect to improve even more.
Energy improved its status scores in three of the five initiatives. Labor improved in two. These and other agencies are taking this exercise far more seriously than some of the critics expected when we announced this good management tool a little over a year ago.
Competitive Sourcing is the one area where we've seen no improvement on the status side.
There are other areas throughout the government where management improvements are necessary, and we are taking these opportunities to improve:
- We have identified two major problems with government credit cards - abuse of purchase cards and delinquency of travel cards. With the travel card, the federal government gets a cash rebate that is determined by the amount of payments made on time. We're tracking travel cards more closely to maximize the government's rebate. The Federal government began 2002 with 10% of its individually billed travel accounts delinquent. That amount has been reduced to 6%, reducing total delinquent dollars for individually billed accounts by over $310 million. The purchase card, on the other hand, is susceptible to abuse. As a result of investigations into the abuse of purchase cards - some employees were using their cards to purchase things like breast implants or automobiles for their personal use - we are tracking employee use of purchase cards more closely, putting in controls to prevent abuse, and holding employees and managers accountable.
- The government's financial statements reflect just a small portion of the government's assets: $300 billion in property, plant, and equipment, more than $200 billion in loans receivable, and almost $200 billion in inventories and related property. The government lacks a sound inventory of its property, but will now track agencies' efforts to manage and maintain their assets.
As the President said in his State of the Union address, "Some might call this a good record; I call it a good start." We will see the implementation of the President's Management Agenda through.
View a comparison between the 2001 scores and the 2002 scores.
Mark W. Everson
Mark W. Everson Reports on the Status of the PMA - December 1, 2002
Mark W. Everson Reports on the Status of the PMA - September 1, 2002