History of the President's Management Agency
The agenda was originally unveiled in August, 2001. That document simply titled The President's Management Agenda, and labeled for fiscal Year 2002, can be found on the White House Web site.
The agenda sets a baseline for the administration's government reform priorities. It's similar to the National Performance Review plan outlined by Vice President Gore's reinventing government campaign of the late 1990s. But Bush's document focuses strongly on just a few major initiatives.
Another requirement is that the Office of Management and Budget requires quarterly financial audits from certain agencies. These audits are a very visible way of holding agencies accountable for their measured performance. Scorecards are available at results.gov.
A series of reports on the various requirements also are available.
The Executive Branch Management Scorecard tracks how well the departments and major agencies are executing the five government-wide management initiatives. The scorecards are posted each quarter.
The Stoplight Scoring System
The scorecard employs a simple grading system:
- Green for success,
- Yellow for mixed results, and
- Red for unsatisfactory.
Scores for "status" (on the left side) are based on the scorecard standards for success. The standards for success were developed by the President's Management Council and discussed with experts throughout government and academe, including the National Academy of Public Administration. They have subsequently been refined with continued experience implementing the President's Management Agenda. Under each of these standards, an agency is "green" or "yellow" if it meets all of the standards for success listed in the respective column, and "red" if it has any one of a number of serious flaws listed in the "red" column.
Information technology vendors who wish to sell to the government often review these listings to see which agencies as red. This warning sign may indicate that the agency is in need of a specific solution to help them meet this requirement.
It's highly likely that the focus on budget and performance integration will continue at OMB for the foreseeable future. What's less clear is how the President's Management Agenda might change after a new president is elected in 2008. It may morph, fragment, or continue under the same or a different name. What IS clear is that the program is viewed as being successful enough that the concept is likely to caqrry on. Expect to see a renewed emphasis on improved financial performance, projects and system investments that are tied to direct business objectives, more competitive sourcing and improved eGovernment, though the phrase eGovernment will likely fall into disuse in a few years.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Sustained Improvement in Federal Financial Management Is Crucial to Addressing Our Nation’s Accountability and Fiscal Stewardship Challenges (GAO-07-607T) issued in March, 2007, states that "certain material weaknesses in financial reporting and other limitations on the scope of GAO’s work resulted in conditions that continued to prevent GAO from being able to provide Congress and the American people an opinion as to whether the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government are fairly stated in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles." For that reason, there is strong ongoing interest in improving and consolidating the federal government's financial management systems.
Advice for This Government Market Space
Both agencies and vendors should pay close attention to the quarterly scorecards.
these rankings clearly show where agencies need to focus their efforts.