Performance Management Advice: Build on Foundation


Last week, another consortium of good government proponents released a report, “Building a Better Government Performance System: Recommendations to the Obama Administration.”  Sponsored by the Accenture Institute for Public Service Value, the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and OMB Watch, the report reflects the results of a workshop they hosted last year as their public service contribution to the transition effort.

The resulting report has both principles and recommendations to the Obama Administration on how it might best move forward on its management initiative “Putting Performance First.”  Robert Brodsky, with Government Executive, characterized the bottom line of the report as “Groups Warn Against Reinventing the Wheel on Management Reform,” which is actually a big step forward!


  • Enhance the public’s right to know how well government programs work
  • Strengthen leadership and accountability from top to bottom
  • Modify, don’t trash, current systems
  • Re-balance the roles of OMB and federal agencies
  • Improve performance and accountability with positive reinforcement
  • Seek input from outside stakeholders


  • Reform the implementation of the OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool and the Government Performance and Results Act by “developing ownership throughout agencies over performance measurement and reporting.”
  • Promote leadership and accountability by having leader focus on results and ensuring federal employees buy into the performance system.
  • Foster policy innovation and ownership with the use of positive reinforcement and an emphasis on improvement, not punishment.
  • Balance the roles of OMB and federal agencies by engaging agencies, and agency performance improvement officers, in program assessments and making OMB’s performance activities more transparent.
  • Engage outside stakeholders in providing feedback on program performance as well as linking performance reviews to the congressional budget process.

Some of these recommendations had been made in earlier reports (see GAO and IBM Center), but the good news is that the Administration seems to be committed to taking action on a number of them.


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One Response to “Performance Management Advice: Build on Foundation”

  1. Norman M. Macdonald Says:

    Without the backing of the working stiffs there will be problems not change. What is needed is a all hands 360 degree evaluation on where the workers stand, how they view their jobs and who they regularly work with outside the Federal government. I mean everyone down to janitors, tree markers, folks in the mail room etc. I found over my many years of Federal Service that in many cases these are the people who know what the real problem is and how to handle it. Morale seems to be going up this would be a good way to keep it moving up.

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