Are the Performance Pieces Finally Falling Into Place?

Back in 1993, reformers thought that if agencies developed strategic plans, operating plans, and measures of progress, that decision makers would use the resulting information to manage better.  That didn’t work.  In 2001, the Bush Administration thought that if a scorecard of more discrete performance information at the program level was created, that decision makers would use it to manage better.  That didn’t work either.  In fact, a recent article in Public Administration Review by professors Donald Mo

How to "Mind the Gap"

Producing an effective program evaluation agenda

In a freshly issued a report: “Program Evaluation: Experienced Agencies Follow a Similar Model for Prioritizing Research,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) acknowledges the Obama Administration’s effort to expand the availability and use of rigorous program evaluation.   Yet not too surprisingly, GAO believes “Few appear to conduct in-depth program evaluations regularly to assess their programs’ impact or inform policymakers on how to improve results”

Is Performance Budgeting an Unnatural Act?

A couple of recent pieces of research may provide some insight-- and caution -- in attempts to implement performance budgeting.  The first piece looks at challenges raised internally within agencies by professional tensions between finance, performance, and budget personnel in cities in North Carolina, and the second piece looks at the perspectives of local elected officials in Denmark.




Weekly Roundup: December 18-22, 2017

DOD Acquisition Reform Panel. In an Op-Ed in Federal Times, Dee Lee and Hannah Oh write: “Repealing or amending outdated provisions that bog down the acquisition process is long overdue.

Weekly Roundup: February 13 - 17, 2017

John Kamensky

Weekly Roundup: February 20-24, 2017

Regulation Elimination SWAT Teams.  Government Executive reports: “President Trump signed an executive order on Friday creating new task forces at every federal agency that will identify regulations for elimination or modification.”

Digging Out of a Digital Stone Age

The Government Accountability Office study went on to note: “Agencies reported 3,427 IT staff employed just to maintain legacy-programming languages, such as COBOL (1,085) and Fortran (613).”  In addition, the Office of Management and Budget recently observed that “43 percent of federal IT projects are reported to be over budget or behind schedule.”

Re-Thinking the CFO Act

I originally had my doubts about the statutory provision in the stimulus bill that created something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.  I was concerned that it was going to be a huge “gotcha” machine.  But it looks like its chairman, Earl Devaney, has created the foundation for modernizing the CFO Act of 1990 in the way he created a website tracking Recovery Act spending,


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