OMB’s guidance to agencies on the development of their FY 2015 budgets promises that “OMB will issue a separate memo at a later date that encourages the increased use of evidence and evaluation, including rigorous testing of innovative strategies to build new knowledge of what works.” This encouragement comes on top of a foundation already under development in many agencies.
Professor Wyld argues that more aggressively managing the tail of government spending - smaller, non-core expenditures that tend to receive less attention - offers the possibility of substantial cost savings.
A recent GAO report on the executive branch’s approach to new requirements in the Government Performance and Results Act recommends that “OMB improve the implementation of the act.” But a sub-theme in the report describes how agencies are actually building a long-term, solid foundation for a performance-driven government.
The Obama Administration has built on efforts from the Bush Administration to embed the use of evidence and evaluation in making funding decisions. There are now four different types of initiatives underway, or proposed, in a range of federal agencies.
Since the creation of the IBM Center for The Business of Government over 15 years ago, we have sought to help public sector leaders and managers address real-world problems by sponsoring independent, third-party research from top minds in academe and the nonprofit sector. We aim to produce research and analysis that allows government leaders to address their mission and management challenges more effectively and efficiently.
Policymakers are fixated on short-term budget austerity measures such as furloughs, pay freezes, and conference and travel spending. However, there is a small, but growing effort to take a longer, more strategic look at how to manage austerity by finding what works and targeting dollars there instead of to programs that cannot demonstrate effectiveness.