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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Management agenda gets face-lift with new Web site, message

The Office of Management and Budget is reshaping its management agenda message with a new focus on signs of change and a new look for its Web site.

The new public face is timed to coincide with Thursday's release of the quarterly President's Management Agenda score card for the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The changes reflect a shift from concentrating on the metrics used for the traffic-light-style grading to looking more at what good marks mean in terms of the effectiveness of government programs, OMB officials told Government Executive on Wednesday.

The redesign of Results.gov, home to information on the management agenda and the quarterly score cards, will go live Thursday. The new site will be geared more clearly toward federal employees -- the main target audience -- and will highlight individual successes over general program information.
Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, described the five key management initiatives -- human capital management, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government and budget-performance integration -- as tools that allow agencies to become more efficient, rather than goals in and of themselves. The theme of emphasizing actual improvements rather than the scores, is one that aligns more closely with President Bush's perspective on federal management, Johnson has said.

He said Wednesday that the changes on the score card, which has gone from a sea of red to a mosaic of red, yellow and green, do not translate directly to better management. "This doesn't mean that government is that much more effective than five years ago," he said. "We need to be sure [agencies] are taking this ability to be more effective, and being more effective."

In the new OMB score card, the greatest change is in the volatile e-government category. This area has experienced roller-coaster movement over the last year, attributed by officials in part to meeting and missing hard deadlines on major projects. Five agencies -- the Agriculture, Defense and Justice departments, the Office of Personnel Management and the Smithsonian Institution -- earned rising scores on the latest round, while the Education and Transportation departments and Social Security Administration lost ground.

Agriculture and the Army Corps of Engineers both boosted their scores in the area of linking budget and performance information, while the Housing and Urban Development Department moved up to yellow in financial performance and the General Services Administration jumped two levels from red to green in that area.


-Jenny Mandel, GovExec.com

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