OMB rates agencies' progress on management agenda

The Bush administration's latest report card, which rates agency performance on five key management initiatives, shows mixed results, with eight agencies improving in one or more initiatives, and two faltering in one initiative.

The quarterly scorecards measure the status and progress of 26 departments and agencies in achieving the president's goals in five areas:

  • Human capital, or better work-force planning;

  • Competitive sourcing, or subjecting more federal work to public-private competition;

  • Financial performance, or improving the accuracy and timeliness of federal financial reports;

  • E-government, or promoting cross-agency information technology projects that improve service to citizens;

  • Budget and performance integration, or linking program performance to federal funding.

  • Agencies are graded on two levels: They get one grade for their status relative to the five President's Management Agenda initiatives, and a second grade for their progress toward meeting the PMA goals.

    Grades are green for success, yellow for mixed results and red for unsatisfactory. For example, an agency would get a red score in financial management if the agency has a history of spending more money than has been given to it by law.

    The final 2002 scorecard, published Nov. 15 by the Office of Management and Budget, shows that the departments of Energy and Labor improved their status scores in two categories. Energy moved from red to yellow in human capital and e-government; Labor moved from red to yellow in financial performance and budget and performance integration.

    Six agencies improved their status scores in one category. The Department of Defense moved from red to yellow in human capital; the Environmental Protection Agency moved from red to yellow in financial performance; the Department of Veterans Affairs, NASA and the Social Security Administration moved from red to yellow in budget and performance integration; and the National Science Foundation moved from yellow to green in e-government.

    Two agencies, NASA and the Small Business Administration, fell from yellow to red status in financial performance.

    Only one of 26 rated agencies, the National Science Foundation, received green status ratings in any of the five initiatives. NSF got green in financial management and e-government.

    Fourteen departments and agencies received yellow status ratings in one or more of the initiatives. Labor and Social Security stood out among the yellows, each receiving yellow status ratings in four of the five initiatives.

    The administration doled out many more green ratings when assessing the agencies' progress on the five initiatives. Every agency except the Army Corps of Engineers received at least one green progress rating; most received three or four green progress ratings. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation received green progress ratings on all five initiatives.

    The most important scorecard yet will be published in the president's fiscal 2004 budget in February 2003, said Mark Everson, deputy director for management at OMB.

    "It's important that we make substantial progress in the coming weeks," Everson said. "After planning improvements, we have entered that important stage of implementation where our success or failure will be evident not just by looking at our status on the scorecard, but also by what concrete steps we have taken to improve management in the Executive Branch."

    The scorecard and the President's Management Agenda can be found at

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