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Reason Foundation

Federal Budget Tied to Program Performance

Leonard Gilroy
February 13, 2006, 10:30am

According to the Federal Times, federal budgeting is becoming more tightly integrated with program performance:
Much like an eighth-grader looking for extra allowance around report card time, federal managers are finding that good grades pay off, even when the money is tight. Nearly three quarters of the programs rated effective by the Office of Management and Budget are slated for budget increases in the president's fiscal 2007 proposal, compared with 60 percent in the 2006 proposed budget. Those rated moderately effective also fared better in the 2007 budget proposal with 55 percent winning recommendations for increased funding, compared with 50 percent that were up for more money in the same category in 2006. OMB measures a program's performance by asking managers to answer a series of questions on how well the program's goals are tied to overall agency goals and missions, how well the program is managed and to what extent the program is achieving intended results. That questionnaire is called the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). OMB scores the responses and ultimately gives each program a rating of effective, moderately effective, adequate, ineffective or results not demonstrated. This growing correlation between a program's PART score and the budget proposal should come as no surprise from an administration whose mantra is "what gets measured gets done."
For more on PART, see Adam's article in the latest Privatization Watch.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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