What does Performance.gov offer?

Thursday - 8/25/2011, 3:48pm EDT

Robert Shea, Partner, Grant Thornton

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Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Performance.gov is finally up and running. The website details the status of agencies' goals in eight different management areas, including human resources, technology and open gov.

Initial reaction was positive from Robert Shea, former associate director at the Office of Management and Budget: "I think it's pretty cool."

"For a geek like me who follows performance, it's like a candy store," Shea said of Performance.gov.

Shea, currently a principal with Grant Thornton, had helped launch ExpectMore.gov. That website contained as assessment of every federal program.

"I think the White House has come to the conclusion that that kind of detail is not that useful, and so they tried to make this a lot more accessible," Shea said.

Performance.gov is in fact accessible and offers visualization tools, from improper payments to federal property ownership. The data now, however, is uneven with some areas — like personnel — containing a lot of information and other areas — like customer service — offering "not much at all," he said.

"I suspect over time, as people use it and there's demand, it'll get better and better," Shea said.

Another challenge moving forward is maintaining the data, a big question mark as the E-government Fund took a 75 percent budget cut this year.

"I think it's hogwash there's going to be a scarcity of resources devoted to websites because it's such a small investment compared to the overall budget," Shea said.

Budget cuts will force the government to consolidate or eliminate duplicative or underused websites.

One result could be to make Performance.gov a "single go-to site for this kind of information," he said.

Also, click above to hear analysis from WFED's Jason Miller, who is covering the story.