I’ve worked as a manager, analyst, and consultant in and for the US Federal Government for 35 years – 10 years in the military, 10 years as Civil Service, and 15 years as a contractor.
Executive Branch Needs to Follow Its Own Rules To Reduce Costs
The cost of US government annual operations and capability development (e.g., software, system) can be quickly reduced by over 50% per year, while improving its products (e.g., goods, services, benefits, entitlements), product delivery, and operational performance, responsiveness, accountability, and appropriate transparency, if all activities of the Federal Executive Branch (FEB), including the OMB Director, are required to fully comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and OMB Circulars A-123 (Internal Controls – IC), and A-130 (Federal Information Resource Management-IRM). PRA legislates IRM, IRM is key to FEB improvement, and IRM depends on documented and transparent internal processes and controls.
A-123 IC requires that all FEB managers, at all FEB levels, model their processes, and validate their control over their processes, products, and performance measures . A-130 IRM depends on processes, products, and measurements being in place and governed, to enable organizing and sharing FEB information and knowledge, which is public-domain, appropriate to privacy and security criteria.
Dramatic and rapid FEB improvements, by fully implementing PRA, A-123 (IC), and A-130 (IRM), and then consistently and broadly checking agency compliance, can be accomplished fully within the President’s authority, for the entire FEB. Congress need do nothing, although increased GAO vigor in assessing A-123 and A-130 compliance will help drive their implementations.
These improvements can be achieved by having OMB do for all FEB operations what they did for IT Investments – simply don’t issue a FEB activity’s budget, at any level, for any item, until the manager of the activity validates to their supervisory chain that they have: modeled their operations, products, metrics ,and data with the BPMN V2 process-modeling standard with any needed extensions, and shared that model’s diagrams and data with their CIO.