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Performance.gov to Clear Review Clutter but Won’t Set Budgets

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The federal government is continuing to track agency performance on its new website Performance.gov, which is scheduled to become available to the public later this fall.

But Office of Management and Budget Associate Director Shelley Metzenbaum said the performance data compiled on the website would not be used to set program budgets, according to a report in The Federal Times.

“Our goal is to set up a system that really drives constructive management practices,” she told The Federal Times after a speech before the Association of Government Accountants.

“We are trying to take a learn-from-experience approach,” she added. “Not tossing out all the past efforts, but actually studying them to say what part of it worked, what didn’t work.”

Still, Metzenbaum was largely critical of current performance management review systems, which mostly come in the form of annual reports agencies submit on performance goals. Metzenbaum called into question how many of the reports were actually read.

Another program Metzenbaum is unenthusiastic about is the Bush-era Program Assessment Rating Tool system, which was created with good intentions, but has created an opaque rating system that makes tracking actual progress difficult, she said.

Performance.gov is designed to produce data-driven reviews that are timely and effective. PART set five-year goals, which were too infrequent and often disconnected from progress on the ground, Metzenbaum said.

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