In mid-February, OMB quietly released a new version of the Performance.gov website in preparation for, and alignment with, the president’s new management agenda which is due out in March.
According to the site, “Performance.gov is a window into federal agencies’ efforts to deliver a smarter, leaner, and more effective government. The site informs the public of the progress underway to cut waste, streamline government, and improve performance.”
Performance.gov is the performance website mandated under the Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010 which requires agencies to publish performance information through a central website.
One intent of the GPRA Modernization Act is to align performance planning with current political leadership. To this end, OMB budget guidance published in July 2017 instructed agencies to pause reporting to the site during the 2017 administration transition year so that agency priorities and the site could be re-aligned with management strategies and goals of the new administration.
In a report released in August 2016, GAO criticized the former performance.gov site stating, “Agencies lack a long-term plan to improve the embattled site, and are not meeting federal website requirements.” GAO found the site did not clearly describe its purpose as a central, government-wide portal where users can find agency goals, and the design could potentially confuse users due to the lack of color-coded performance metrics or other visualizations.
The new site, launched in conjunction with the release of the president’s FY 2019 budget request on February 12th, will allow users to
- Learn how the federal government manages performance using a performance framework that focuses on developing and implementing a limited number of actionable goals and strategies, including Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals, Agency Priority Goals (APGs), and Strategic Objectives.
- Access performance information by agency, including information on agency established Priority Goals and links to each agency’s strategic plan, performance plans and reports, and other guiding documents.
To date, it appears that most agencies provide links to strategic plans, 2017 annual performance reports, and other performance documents. However, agencies are still in the process of formulating Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals, Agency Priority Goals (APGs), and Strategic Objectives. Most agencies state on the site, that these will be available with the Q1 FY 2018 performance update. Additionally, the site does not provide a way to visualize or compare goals, priorities or progress.
Although the president’s management agenda is yet to be released, performance.gov gives us a glimpse of some of the priorities. The site states that the agenda “will leverage Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals to coordinate and publicly track implementation across federal agencies. Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals have been established to drive implementation of the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and tackle critical government-wide challenges that cut across agencies.”
According to the site, specific PMA goal areas will include:
Management Outcomes Driven by the President’s Management Council
- Modernize IT to Increase Productivity and Security
- Create a 21st Century Framework for Data
- Develop a Workforce for 21st Century
- Improve the Customer Experience with Federal Services
- Shift from Low-Value to High-Value Work
- Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness of Administrative Services across Government
Mission Outcomes Driven by the Executive Office of the President and Agencies
- Modernize the Infrastructure Permitting Process
- Federal Agencies
- Technology Areas
- GovWin Recon
- State, Local and Education