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Friday, August 08, 2008

Grades on management score card fall

Many federal agencies have taken a step backward on the Bush administration's five major management initiatives, according to quarterly grades released on Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget.

There were 14 downgrades on the status section of OMB's management score card for the third quarter of 2008, which ended June 30. And there were only six instances in which grades improved.

The problems were limited to two areas of the President's Management Agenda: human capital and electronic government.

Eight agencies' e-government scores declined on the traffic-light-style system, with seven dropping to red, signifying unsatisfactory performance. Only two agencies improved their grades in that area.

Meanwhile, six of the 26 agencies that are evaluated by OMB had their human capital score drop a notch, generally from green to yellow; one agency moved up a level.

OMB did recognize slight upticks in the scores on commercial services management -- previously called competitive sourcing -- and in the category of performance improvement. Scores did not change in the financial management category.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security Administration and Labor Department each earned perfect scores of green in all five categories. The Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments had the worst scores, with three categories in the red.

As in most quarters, the scores were generally much higher on a separate chart that mapped the progress agencies had shown in implementing the goals of the PMA.

On the second quarter score card, OMB credited agencies with seven improvements and five declines. And, on the first quarter score card, agencies moved up 12 times compared to only three declines.

-Robert Brodsky, GovExec.com

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