OMB expands requirements under some cross-agency management goals

Tuesday - 7/22/2014, 4:03am EDT

By Stephanie Wasko
Special to Federal News Radio

The Office of Management and Budget will collect budget and spending information from agencies to ramp up personnel security.

OMB is asking 16 agencies to provide information on resources, expenditures and budget submissions from fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2016 to help improve continuous evaluation initiatives and the implementation of new Federal Investigative Standards, according to a July 18 memo from acting OMB Director Brian Deese.

OMB asked for information related to "the development or enhancement of information technology capabilities, case management systems, training and other resources required to implement the revised Federal Investigative Standards."

The agency will use this data as a baseline for monitoring progress as well as to support "the collection, sharing and analysis of internal and external data sources to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities," the memo stated.

OMB is requiring this information as part of a broad-based expansion of the Cross-Agency Priority goals for 2016 that should be addressed in agency budget submissions due this fall.

Benchmarking data and analysis

The executive memo, for management agenda priorities for the 2016 budget, provided additional guidance to the cross-agency priority goals.

In the memo, OMB also requested CFO Act agencies to benchmark efforts to "streamline financial management activities at your agency as a result of the insight captured from the benchmarking data analysis and/or improve the quality of data collected for the benchmarking effort."

The memo stated the departments of Veterans Affairs, State, Energy, Agriculture and Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should specifically benchmark activities of investment or policy regarding real property. They also should give information on the quality of the benchmarking data and how it will affect future management.

Agency-level SAVE Award

In the memo, OMB also announced that it will transition from a governmentwide Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award program to one that is only at the agency level.

"Since its creation in 2009, the President's SAVE Award has served as a vehicle for federal employees to offer their ideas about how to cut waste, save taxpayer dollars and make government more efficient and effective," the memo stated. "Following the successful employee engagement programs established at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, agencies are encouraged to develop or enhance their own internal savings and efficiency idea programs."

Agencies should find ways to promote efficiency and money-saving ideas within their own agency, according to the memo. OMB plans to help agencies strengthen and implement these programs.

"Through agency-based programs, we will continue to solicit ideas directly from frontline employees, building a culture of efficiency and effectiveness that can continue into future administrations," the memo stated.

'Forecasting' contracts, IT

OMB also highlighted the area of customer service by asking 15 agencies to provide information on activities to improve how they meet citizen needs, which could involve improving time for transaction or staff training. OMB asked for information on both ongoing activities and actions planned for 2016. In addition, the agencies are to include how they propose to improve the collection and analysis of customer service feedback.

Under strategic sourcing, OMB asked all CFO Act agencies to provide a "forecast" for how much and what types of contracts they expect for their information technology programs. OMB said this will enable the administration and agencies to reduce duplication and simplify sourcing arrangements.

Finally, OMB encouraged agencies to provide information on their efforts to improve and implement open data, IT delivery and shared services.

Stephanie Wasko is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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