Early on in the Administration, we laid out an ambitious goal of ending veterans’ homelessness in 2015. Announcing the goal was the easy part. However, to truly make sustained progress on this goal and drive on-the-ground results, we recognized the need to put in place rigorous management practices that would help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and providers of care improve services for veterans and their families.
In 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched the Agency Priority Goals and the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals initiatives that established a series of clear, measurable benchmarks to help agencies deliver on their missions and drive better outcomes for citizens. VA and HUD’s efforts are prime examples of what the Priority Goals are all about. Each quarter, OMB tracks progress on Performance.gov to provide accountability and allow the public to see how we are doing, what is working well and what is not. Today, the Administration is posting performance results for Priority Goals on Performance.gov for the 3rd Quarter of 2014. The agency reports show significant progress across the Federal government in delivering results, which includes the President’s recent announcement of a 33 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2010.
Here are some highlights:
When I was Secretary of HUD, we used the Agency Priority Goal framework to take concrete actions that would advance our goal to end homelessness and set intermediate annual targets to significantly reduce the number of homeless veterans. I led regular data-driven reviews with VA’s Deputy Secretary (a.k.a. HUD STAT) and our respective teams to see what was working and remove any roadblocks. For example, by analyzing data reported from field offices, we could identify and work with cities that were not using a “housing first” approach, which removes barriers to help veterans obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, with fewer prerequisites. By using the APGs the Administration has made significant progress on our goal to end veterans’ homelessness – going from aspirations to practical steps we could implement across the country to improve outcomes. And now as OMB Director, I am pleased to help enable these types of performance improvement efforts across agencies on a range of issues.
The Agency and Cross-Agency Priority Goals are an opportunity for senior policy officials, career executives, managers, front line employees, and providers to come together to accelerate progress on the government’s bottom line outcomes. By using a data-driven, implementation-focused approach, agencies are achieving significant gains in their respective missions to accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for the American people.
For more information on the Administration’s performance improvement efforts, please visit Performance.gov.
Shaun Donovan is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget