Federal Manager's Daily Report

OMB released a “vision plan” for creating a central inventory of federal programs under a series of laws including last year’s DoD authorization bill, although adding that the process is complex and will consume years.

Such an inventory “would allow policy makers and the public to review and analyze federal spending that shares a common purpose within and across agencies. An appropriately constructed inventory could also improve financial and program management through the establishment of stronger connections between spending and performance information, reduce reporting burden, and ensure Congress and OMB are better prepared to nimbly respond to emerging priorities,” it says.

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Initially, OMB said, it expects to specify categories of spending which will enable agencies to “consistently and publicly display information about the majority of their spending on a publicly available website.” That at first likely will leave out types of spending that are the most difficult to assign to a program, such as for IT, real property and general overhead that are spread across programs within an agency.

OMB said it further “will need to establish and maintain a strong governance process over the common set of standard data elements for public display” and “create a process for key stakeholders to determine which aspects of the inventory should be maintained, added, or removed as well as help agencies to identify which programs should be included.”

“Eventually, such an inventory would provide valuable data to decision-makers about how to allocate resources to better achieve the mission, provide accountability for agencies to taxpayers, and build public trust,” it said.

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