Performance Management Recommendations for the New Administration

Source: Shelley H. Metzenbaum, IBM Center for The Business of Government, 2009

This report examines the evolution of the development and use of goals and measures over the past two presidential administrations and offers insights and recommendations to the incoming Obama Administration. These insights and recommendations are based on extensive interviews with key stakeholders in agencies, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and outside groups. It also draws on the government experience of the author as well as studies of federal performance trends by the Government Accountability Office, academics, and think tanks.

This new report reviews performance management initiatives undertaken in recent years. The report is informed by the author’s experience and interviews with several dozen individuals who have been involved in the federal government’s implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Bush administration’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). Findings from the interviews are presented in the report.

Metzenbaum also identifies guiding principles for effective performance management that the Obama administration should adopt as it develops its own performance agenda. She offers an integrated set of recommendations to the President, the Office of Management and Budget, cabinet secretaries and agency heads, and the Performance Improvement Council, including advice on specific changes regarding the potential use of a revised Program Assessment Rating Tool in the Obama administration.

We hope that this report will be a useful resource for the Obama administration, as well as for public managers across the government as they continue transforming government to be more results-oriented.

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