How Data, Leadership, and Collaboration Can Improve Government Results

Government thumbnail imageEffective performance management helps the federal government to improve outcomes in areas that affect nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives, from education, healthcare, and housing to national and homeland security.

To that end, the Office of Management and Budget released new agency and cross-agency priority goals in the 2015 President’s Budget. These goals stem from the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010, known as GPRAMA. This Act requires federal agencies to collect performance information and use it to address fiscal, management, and performance challenges.

GAO tracks implementation of GPRAMA, and we’ve reported on three key areas:

Data-Driven Performance Reviews

pic1Collecting and using meaningful performance data can help agencies pinpoint improvement opportunities and get better results. We took a closer look at data-driven performance reviews and identified nine leading practices for successful reviews. For example, agency leaders should use data-driven reviews as a leadership strategy to drive performance improvement.

Leadership Capacity and Continuity

pic2Perhaps the single most important element of successful management improvement is the demonstrated commitment of top leaders. We reviewed new leadership structures required by GPRAMA and found that the designation of senior-level officials to these positions has helped elevate accountability and ensure high-level involvement.

Interagency Collaboration

pic3Whether it’s a government entity, a non-profit organization, or a private sector philanthropy effort, there are many stakeholders that care about public service. GPRAMA establishes a new framework aimed at taking a more crosscutting and integrated approach to focusing on results and improving government performance. Our recent report describes various implementation approaches used to enhance interagency collaboration.

For more information, check out our key issue page on managing for results in government and listen to our podcast.


  •   Questions on the content of this post? Contact Chris Mihm at mihmj@gao.gov.
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