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Monday, October 16, 2006

Bush drums up support for PMA

President George W. Bush today gave a pep talk to the President’s Management Council, reminding these deputy secretaries of how far they have come and how far they still need to go.

Bush said getting results from money spent is what the administration wants.

“[I]t’s important to set clear goals and to set priorities for the dollars we spend,” Bush said in a speech to a small pool of reporters. “And once a goal is set, a goal that everyone can understand, it’s important to make sure we measure to determine whether or not we’re achieving the results.”

Bush held the PMC meeting as the Office of Management and Budget plans to release the annual results from the fiscal 2006 President’s Management Agenda scorecard.

OMB has been pushing improvements agencies are making because of the PMA over the past week. It released a PMA fact sheet earlier this week, in part to convince critics, especially on Capitol Hill, that agency management is improving and should be supported.

OMB posted the PMA report this afternoon.

The report finds that in 2006, 73 percent of the programs are focusing on and achieving goals, up from 46 percent in 2003.

Agencies have eliminated $7.8 billion in improper payments and disposed of $3.5 billion in unneeded property, the report adds.

The White House also contends improved IT management is saving money. For instance, the report says the Energy Department will save $450 million over seven years with its modernized IT infrastructure, and the Health and Human Services Department will save almost $11 million by consolidating payroll systems.

“[W]hen we find wasteful spending, we work to eliminate it,” Bush said. “When we find a program that is making a significant difference, we work to enhance it.”

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