Congressional Oversight of Performance

There may be widespread public dissatisfaction with Congress’s performance, but GAO has issued a new report that highlights Congress’s role in overseeing agency performance.

A Thousand Cuts

Government Executive magazine’s cover story, “A Thousand Cuts,” by Joseph Marks, paints a graphic picture of what it is like to be in government today. Here’s a list of the various directives that direct many of these cuts.

Getting Government to Use Performance Data

Academics sometimes hit the nail on the head! University of Wisconsin professor Donald Moynihan, a thoughtful observer of the evolution of performance management in the U.S, along with colleague Stephane Lavertu from Ohio State, examine historical GAO survey data to understand why recent federal performance improvement initiatives haven’t resulted in the hoped-for increase use of performance information to make decisions

Solidifying the Foundation for Performance Management

In 2004, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report touting how, after a decade, the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 had “established a solid foundation for achieving greater results.”  That may have been the first time GAO was overly optimistic!

Highlights of Senate GPRA Oversight Hearing

What sparked his imagination?  Here’s a link to the hearing record.

Lead off witnesses included Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients and Comptroller General Gene Dodaro (who Carper jokingly referred to as Zients’ “wingman”).  Here are some testimony highlights from Zients:

Executive Branch Implementation Steps To Date. 

Is It Time to Adopt Portfolio Budgeting?

A Pipe Dream? 

Weekly Roundup: Week of April 25-29, 2016

Post-Award Management of Agile Contracts. What happens after a contract is awarded? Steve Kelman writes in Federal Computer Week that there is “fear that some principles of agile cannot be reconciled with existing procurement regulations. I argued that good practice suggests, and the procurement regulations allow, issuing a solicitation for an agile contract, or a task order under an umbrella IDIQ contract, without specifying requirements at the beginning, which would violate the whole idea of agile.

GAO Outlines National Indicator System

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed the state of the art in developing and using comprehensive indicator systems in its 2004 report, “Informing Our Nation: Improving How to Understand and Assess the USA's Position and Progress.”  That report sparked an initiative by the National Academies of Science, with the support of several non-profit foundations, to explore the feasibility of developing a national indicator system.  This led to the creation of a non-profit, State of the USA,


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