This week, the Administration provided the first-ever quarterly progress update on the government’s 14 Cross-Agency Priority Goals and 103 Agency Priority Goals. These goals are set in areas where the Administration aims to achieve accelerated performance improvement through focused senior leadership attention. Agency leaders have each set ambitious near-term, implementation-focused Priority Goals, and the Administration has chosen Cross-Agency Priority Goals focused on topics requiring the collaboration of multiple agencies. Each quarterly progress update will be posted on Performance.gov, providing a window into the Administration’s efforts to make the government work smarter, better, and more efficiently.
For example, the Department of the Interior is working to authorize more production of clean energy on public lands. The agency set a goal that by September 30, 2013, it will increase the approved capacity for renewable energy (solar, wind, and geothermal) on or affecting public lands by at least 11,000 Megawatts relative to 2009 levels. By the end of 2012, it was fast approaching its goal, having approved 10,933 Megawatts, enough to power millions of homes.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working together to help low-income families reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. In 2009, DOE and HUD set a joint Priority Goal that between FY 2010 and FY 2013, they would enable cost-effective energy retrofits or energy efficient new construction of a total of 1.2 million housing units. DOE and HUD achieved this goal ahead of schedule, having completed retrofits of over 1.2 million homes by the end of the second quarter of FY 2012, saving these households hundreds of dollars each year in heating, cooling, and electricity costs.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is making good progress toward the goal of reducing the global mortality rate for children under five. Its efforts have contributed to an estimated reduction of 2 deaths per 1,000 live births across USAID-assisted countries (from an estimated 73 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to an estimated 71 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012).
Multiple agencies are cooperating to reach a goal of providing 4G wireless broadband coverage for 98 percent of Americans by 2016, to help provide a strong foundation for economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness. As of June 2012, 81 percent of Americans have access to advanced wireless broadband and the ability to enjoy minimum download speeds of at least 6 megabits per second, up from 36 percent in mid-2010. When wired connections are included, the availability of 4G or comparable broadband speeds jumps to almost 96 percent of the population.
The Treasury Department is also making rapid progress in its efforts to increase electronic transactions to improve service, prevent fraud, and reduce costs. It has, for example, cut the number of paper claims from a high of 195.5 million in 2007 to 41 million in 2012. Treasury has also increased the individual tax e-File rate to 80 percent in 2012, beating its goal by one year.
While progress on these and other Priority Goals has generally been strong through the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2013, further progress may be slowed in selected areas if sequestration continues. To learn more about the Administration’s Cross-Agency and Agency Priority goals, visit the Clear Goals section of Performance.gov.
Shelley Metzenbaum is OMB Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management