The announcement will come tomorrow, and the job description is all about reform:
- Go through the federal budget line by line and cut the fat.
- Hold agencies accountable.
- Restore fiscal discipline.
In case you don’t remember, Obama outlined this as part of his reform agenda during the campaign…
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will create a focused team within the White House that will work with agency leaders and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve results and outcomes for federal government programs while eliminating waste and inefficiency. This unit, a SWAT team, will be composed of top-performing and highly-trained government professionals and be headed by a new Chief Performance Officer (CPO) who will report directly to the president. The CPO will work with federal agencies to set tough performance targets and hold managers responsible for progress. The president will meet regularly with cabinet officers to review the progress their agencies are making toward meeting performance improvement targets.
And the idea is winning praise from those who served in the OMB:
Robert Shea, former OMB associate director for administration and government performance, said he believes OMB has developed a strong foundation on which the Obama administration can build, but that establishing a CPO position in the White House might help overcome the challenges the agency faces in integrating performance initiatives with the programs they’re designed to improve.
“Having a chief performance officer in the White House reporting to the president gives you an opportunity to make the people responsible for achieving the president’s priorities pay more attention to the importance of management in achieving those goals,” said Shea, now a director with the global public sector of consultant firm Grant Thornton LLP.
Obviously this isn’t a cure-all, but I’d hope that we can all agree that this is a welcome step from a Democrat. Because this represent exactly the type of change he was talking about all throughout the campaign.