Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force Examines Oversight of Executive Branch Agencies

Jeff Brody

A task force of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Bipartisan Policy Center is looking into organizations overseeing executive branch agencies and assessing how those agencies implement oversight recommendations, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

The task force found that those agencies do not spend enough time to implement improvements to their performance and are focusing more on responding to oversight recommendations and compliance-based activities. Such agencies and oversight bodies have not established a culture that assumes risks at the beginning.

“If overseers are aware of risks that agencies are taking prior to any incident, and if overseers were satisfied that mitigation of these risks was taken seriously, we avoid the type of ‘gotcha’ oversight that often stymies innovation and breakthroughs,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee.

The task force called on the Government Accountability Office and inspectors general to focus their recommendations on performance measures and specific agency outcomes. Internal oversight groups should also work with GAO, IGs and other outside oversight organizations in terms of monitoring the progress of agencies and offering recommendations, according to the task force. The task force includes former officials from GAO, Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management, among other agencies.

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