FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PMA
Why does the President have a Management Agenda?
The President has called for a government that focuses on
priorities and executes them well. Securing the homeland, waging
war on terrorism abroad, and revitalizing the economy are the
most important priorities but even they will not be addressed by
simply devoting money to them. The assumption that more
government spending gets more results is not generally true and
is seldom tested. It is potentially wrong for two reasons.
First, the program may not actually achieve the results everyone
expects. Second, it ignores the fact that improvements in the
management of programs can result in great results for less
money by realizing the same productivity gains commonly expected
in the private sector. By focusing on performance we can achieve
the desired results at limited additional cost or, in some
cases, a reduction in spending. We can and should get more for
What is the President's Management Agenda?
The President's Management Agenda is a bold strategy for
improving the management and performance of the federal
government. The Agenda contains five government-wide and nine
agency-specific goals to improve federal management and deliver
results that matter to the American people.
What are the five government-wide goals?
The five government-wide goals are:
Why were these five goals chosen?
The President's Management Agenda was designed to "address the
most apparent deficiencies where the opportunity to improve
performance is the greatest." It focuses on remedies to problems
generally agreed to be serious, and commits to implement them
What are the agency-specific goals?
In addition to the five government-wide initiatives, there are nine agency-specific reforms:
Why were these nine agency-specific goals selected?
- Faith-based and Community Initiatives,
- Privatization of Military Housing,
- Better Research and Development Investment Criteria,
- Elimination of Fraud and Error in Student Aid Programs and Deficiencies in Financial Management,
- Housing and Urban Development Management and Performance,
- Broadened Health Insurance Coverage through State Initiatives,
- A "Right-Sized" Overseas Presence,
- Reform of Food Aid Programs,
- Coordination of Veteran's Affairs and Defense Programs and Systems.
While agencies face a long list of critical management and
performance problems, these nine were chosen to begin the effort
based on several criteria:
As we begin to see results, we will focus our attention on additional reform opportunities.
- Severity of the problem and the importance of the problem to those served;
- Direct and demonstrable benefit to citizens;
- Opportunity to make a dramatic and material difference in program performance; and
- Probability of achieving improvements in the near term.
Who is responsible for implementing the President's Management Agenda?
In July 2001, the President directed Cabinet Secretaries and
agency heads to designate a "chief operating officer" to have
responsibility for day-to-day operations of departments and
agencies. Typically, the departments No. 2 official, its "chief
operating officer", has agency-wide authority and reports
directly to the agency head. The assignment places "management"
with Presidential appointed officials, primarily at the deputy
secretary level, where policy and management meet.
What is the role of the President's Management Council?
At the same time he asked agency heads to designate chief
operating officers (COOs), the President re-established the
Presidents Management Council (PMC) consisting of the COOs. The
PMC provides an integrating mechanism for policy implementation
within agencies and across government. Importantly, the PMC is a
way for the departments and agencies to support the Presidents
government-wide priorities and to build a community of
management leadership that learns, solves problems, and