Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 13 of 73
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PART, which was launched in 2002 as a component of the PMA, included
assessment of the extent to which programs were tracking progress
toward and achieving efficiency improvements. PART consisted of a set of
questions developed to assess various types of federal executive branch
programs, and addressed four aspects of a program: purpose and design,
strategic planning, program management, and program
results/accountability. While there were references to efficiency in several
different sections of the 2007 and 2008 PART guidance, two PART
questions focused specifically on development of program-level efficiency
measures with annual targets for improvement:'9
* "Does the program have procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost
comparisons, information technology (IT) improvements, appropriate
incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in
* In order to receive a "yes" response for this question, a program was to
have regular procedures in place to achieve efficiencies and cost
effectiveness, and had to have at least one efficiency measure with
baseline and targets. Evidence could include efficiency measures,
competitive sourcing plans, IT improvement plans designed to produce
tangible productivity and efficiency gains, or IT business cases that
documented how particular projects improved efficiency.
* "Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost
effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?"
* In order to receive a "yes" response for this question, a program had to
demonstrate improved efficiency or cost effectiveness over the prior
year, including meeting its efficiency target(s) in the question above.
19Additional references to efficiency in OMB's PART assessment tool included language in
the section on program purpose and design, which asked if the program design was free of
flaws that would limit efficiency, with a requirement for "there ... to be no strong evidence"
that another approach or mechanism would be more efficient. For capital assets and
service acquisition programs, PART questions (in the strategic planning section) included
assessing whether credible analysis of alternatives had been conducted, to determine
whether the agency was investing in something that provided the best value to the
government. For regulatory programs, there was a specific question in the program results
section asking whether the goals were achieved at the least incremental societal cost and
whether the program maximized net benefits, to determine whether the program met its
goals in the most efficient way possible.
GAO-10-394 Streamlining Government
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency, report, May 7, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302236/m1/13/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.