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Friday, November 03, 2006

OMB: Management agenda will outlast Bush administration

Regardless of what happens in Tuesday's mid-term elections and in the 2008 presidential race, the fundamentals of the Bush administration's management agenda most likely are here to stay, officials said Thursday.

In the area of information technology, for example, "I really find it hard to believe ... that a president would come in and say, 'I really don't care about privacy, so everything you were doing in the area of privacy -- forget it, throw it out,'" said Karen Evans, head of e-government and IT for the Office of Management and Budget. She said a new administration in 2008 might make changes in where investments are made to reflect different priorities, but the basic elements of IT management likely will remain the same.

At a lunch hosted by the IBM Center for the Business of Government and the National Academy of Public Administration, leaders of the five key initiatives in the President's Management Agenda -- improving financial performance, competitive sourcing, e-government, performance-based budgeting and human capital management -- answered audience questions on the future of the efforts.

Linda Combs, OMB's controller, said the administration's quarterly traffic-light style score card to grade management agenda accomplishments has proven popular with private sector chief financial officers. She said the CFOs universally approve of the score card's simple format, and some assured her they would introduce it at their own companies.

"Results speak for themselves," Combs agreed. "We're going to have to continue to ... change the culture of what we're dealing with in federal agencies and departments in order to promote that great idea that it is as 'cool' to have an efficient and effective measure as it is to create policy."

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