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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GAO GIVES PMA SCORECARD PASSING GRADE

The President’s Management Agenda scorecard has been a valuable tool in helping agencies improve their financial management, according to a recent Government Accountability Office investigation.

The PMA scorecard consists of five governmentwide areas -- human capital, competitive sourcing, improving financial performance, e-government and budget and performance integration -- and nine agency-specific goals. Each quarter, the Office of Management and Budget grades agencies in these areas via a three-color ranking system. “Green” equals success, while “yellow” indicates mixed results and “red” symbolizes unsatisfactory results.

“The scorecard process has clearly been a catalyst to improve financial management and to encourage agency managers to use financial data to enhance decision making as envisioned under the CFO Act;” however, “better documenting the key decisions would strengthen what is already a useful internal management tool by helping ensure consistency and continuity in the process and would enhance the value of the process to external users,” said GAO in its report.

Seven of the nine goals, GAO found “are objective and verifiable using publicly available information.” The two remaining goals, however, “are more subjective and require OMB to make judgments about whether agencies currently produce accurate and timely financial information that is used by management to inform decision making and drive results in key areas of operations” and if agencies “have acceptable plans (which are referred to as “Green plans”) to continuously expand the routine use of financial data in decision making in additional areas of operations.”

The 29-page report can be found at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0795.pdf.

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