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The President's Management Agenda was launched as a strategy for improving the management and performance of the Federal Government. It focuses on the areas where deficiencies were most apparent and where the Government could begin to deliver concrete, measurable results.

The PMA includes five Government-wide initiatives and 10 program-specific initiatives that apply to a subset of Federal agencies. The PMA is helping departments and agencies adopt new disciplines to ensure their focus on results is effective and enduring. The five key Government-wide areas are:

  • Strategic Management of Human Capital - having processes in place to ensure the right person is in the right job, at the right time, and is not only performing, but performing well;
  • Competitive Sourcing - regularly examining commercial activities performed by the government to determine whether it is more efficient to obtain such services from Federal employees or from the private sector;
  • Improved Financial Performance - accurately accounting for the taxpayers' money and giving managers timely and accurate program cost information to inform management decisions and control costs;
  • Expanded Electronic Government - ensuring that the Federal Government's $60 billion annual investment in information technology (IT) significantly improves the government's ability to serve citizens, and that IT systems are secure, and delivered on time and on budget; and
  • Budget and Performance Integration - ensuring that performance is routinely considered in funding and management decisions, and that programs achieve expected results and work toward continual improvement.

For each initiative, the PMA established clear, Government-wide goals or Standards for Success. Agencies then developed and implemented detailed, aggressive action plans to achieve those goals. Most importantly, agencies have been held publicly accountable for adopting these disciplines. To that end, a simple grading system of red, yellow, and green was developed. Each quarter, agencies are rated on their status in achieving the overall goals for each initiative and on their progress in implementing their action plans. The Government-wide scorecard reporting on individual agency progress is published quarterly.