Report Sees Slow but Steady Progress on Cross-Agency Priority Goals

At the end of the first four-year period for cross-agency priority goals under the 2010 Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act, each has “yielded incremental, but tangible results,” the IBM Center for the Business of Government has said.

The 15 goals seek to coordinate federal efforts on often complex issues that cross agency boundaries, ranging from emergency response to cybersecurity, and from improving IT delivery to mental health services for veterans. That variety makes it impossible to create one central system to score them, but a close look at each individually reveals progress, it said.

“The actions taken within each of the CAP Goals have resulted in increased performance and results in several areas that, in a number of cases, had previously demonstrated little to no progress. For example, past efforts to coordinate permitting and review processes between agencies lagged until this initiative was designated as a CAP Goal,” the report says.

“For mission-support CAP Goals, progress can typically be assessed in terms of achieving greater standardization, consolidation of services and cost savings. For example, the Shared Services CAP Goal has developed standardized transition guidance for agencies to move com¬mon administrative functions, such as human resources management, to a shared platform, and agencies are beginning to make the transition,” it says.

It credited OMB with creating a foundation to manage those goals. However, it said the process would benefit from bolder goal setting, designation of leaders for mission-focused goals, heightened focus from high-level internal government entities, creation of teams with full-time staff, inter-agency agreements to assure continuity during staff turnover, and sharing of resources among agencies.