Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 39 of 73
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approaches beyond the program level could help to identify even greater
opportunities for improvements in the efficiency of federal government
operations. GPRA's planning and reporting requirements can provide a
framework for agencies to take a more strategic approach to improving
federal government efficiency.
Can Help Identify and
Develop Strategies to
Governmentwide reviews have been conducted in the United Kingdom
(UK) and by some state governments in the U.S. to help identify and
implement strategic approaches to improve efficiency. Such reviews have
been ordered by executive leadership to address a wide range of
government activity. Reviews have been broad in scope, and initiatives
undertaken to improve efficiency have been crosscutting and could be
applied across processes, services, and organizations rather than just at
the program level as required for federal agencies under OMB's PART
In the UK in 2004, Her Majesty's (HM) Treasury published a first of its
kind, government-wide efficiency review that examined government
processes, identified opportunities for cutting costs and improving
services, and developed proposals to deliver sustainable efficiencies in the
use of resources within both central and local government. The review
focused on improving government efficiency in areas such as
procurement, funding, regulation, citizen services, and administration. The
efficiency review proposed strategies to improve efficiency that were
adopted by HM Treasury in the UK's 2004 budget.
HM Treasury actively supported departments in their individual efficiency
programs. HM Treasury negotiated efficiency goals with each department
and created a centralized efficiency team managed by the Office of
Government Commerce to help departments achieve efficiency gains. HM
Treasury brought in outside expertise, including senior figures from the
private and public sector, to support and work with departments.
Additional specialist change agents were employed to assist departments
with trying to achieve efficiency improvements in areas such as
e-government, human resources, IT, finance, construction, and commodity
procurement. Change agents addressed problems created by highly
fragmented markets that crossed departmental boundaries.
To assist departments in financing efficiency improvement programs, HM
Treasury created a 300 million Efficiency Challenge Fund that provided
departments with matching funds for efficiency improvement programs.
Funds were approved based on objective criteria such as the ratio of
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/m1/39/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.