Today, the Administration is releasing the first quarter update of its 15 Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals for fiscal year 2016. These ambitious, management and mission-based goals have guided the work of Federal agencies over the past two years, and continue to foster a Government that works smarter, better, and more efficiently to deliver results for the American people.
Since his first days in office, the President has made clear that policy decisions should be driven by evidence—evidence about what works and what does not, and evidence that identifies the greatest needs and opportunities to solve great challenges. Over the past seven years there has been growing momentum for evidence-based approaches at all levels of government, as well as among nonprofits, foundations, faith-based institutions, and community-based organizations. The Administration’s embrace of this approach has resulted in important gains in key priorities, from protecting individuals and communities, to modernizing infrastructure, to investing in our children, to taking care of the most vulnerable.
Today’s update marks the Administration’s progress on its goals for fiscal year 2016. From successes in improving energy efficiency within Government to empowering the next generation with the skills needed to succeed to strengthening mental health and suicide prevention efforts, Federal agencies continue to focus on delivering the highly effective government the American people deserve.
Over the past two fiscal years, the Administration has consistently made significant progress in meeting the CAP goals set in 2014. Examples of this progress include:
Supporting Federal efforts in renewable energy and energy efficiency. To enhance the Federal Government’s leadership in clean energy use, in December, the General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Forest Service, awarded a contract for the Federal Government’s first-ever joint solar power procurement in California and Nevada. This project brings together multiple Federal agencies to not only save the Government $5 million in energy costs, but also help achieve the President’s goal for the Federal Government to consume 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. That’s four times the FY2014 CAP goal of 7.5 percent. Moreover, this project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 8,400 cars off the road for one year. Similarly in December, GSA awarded a contract to design, construct and operate solar energy systems on the rooftops of 18 Federal buildings in Washington, DC. When fully operational, the solar energy systems are expected to generate over 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2400 metric tons annually.
Inspiring and equipping U.S. students to excel in STEM fields. To connect students with education and training opportunities to help them succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, DOE, collaborating with participating agencies in the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on STEM Education, launched two websites geared towards undergraduate and graduate students. These websites leverage Federal assets, expertise, and partnerships to provide a single source of reliable information for both students and universities interested in Federally-sponsored STEM education training and funding opportunities. By improving access to training and funding opportunities, these portals will support existing Government efforts to better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields and prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s STEM workforce.
Opening Government data to strengthen mental health and suicide prevention efforts. Since the Open Data CAP goal was announced in 2014, the Administration has enabled public access to approximately 200,000 datasets through Data.gov, which has received over 10 million page views in 2015 alone. Open data continues to drive economic growth, opens the door to innovative academic research, and helps Americans get better access to government information and services they deserve. For instance, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Transportation, GSA, and civil society participated in a sprint (a focused set of activities) to augment Data.gov—the home of the Federal Government’s open data, and a place where the public can find free data, tools, and resources—by adding new data and enhancing datasets related to suicide. This effort helped stimulate collaboration and new research, while encouraging innovative the development of data visualizations, web tools, and mobile applications. Similarly, VA’s Healthcare System in Jamaica Plain, MA, hosted a sprint using Federal and academic open data sets. This sprint helped connect mental-health professionals, Veterans, designers, engineers, and others to co-design interventions using open data sets to proactively reach Veterans at risk for suicide. In addition, OSTP and the Center for Open Data Enterprise recently kicked off an Open Data Roundtable series in an effort to identify case studies, lessons learned, and best practices in open data across the Federal Government.
Streamlining and strengthening the Government’s procurement process. To maximize the value of Federal spending—an effort outlined in the Category Management CAP goal—the Administration launched the Category Management initiative in 2014. This initiative aims to further streamline and manage the Federal Government’s vast goods and services more like a single enterprise – leading to big savings, better efficiencies, and improved performance. Since then, we’ve identified nearly $2 billion in annual savings as a result of the Category Management initiative, alone. For instance, Federal agencies have eliminated more than 700 duplicate professional services contracts, resulting in estimated savings of nearly $4 million over the next five years for these types of contracts, with sustained annual savings of $1.3 million thereafter. Moreover, the Administration has awarded two government-wide software agreements in December 2015 for application development services and geospatial software licensing, which will generate more than $4 million in annual savings.
To further institutionalize and build upon this progress, today we are announcing the establishment of the Core Federal Services Council. A key milestone of the Customer Service CAP goal, the Council will serve as a government-wide governance vehicle to improve the public’s experience with Federal services, from experiences of Americans who visit a Social Security Administration office, to those who pass through a TSA security check at the airport, check online with the IRS for an answer to a tax question, or reserve a campground at a National park. Led by the Office of Management and Budget, the Council will be comprised of representatives from the top 28 Federal programs that provide transactional services directly to the public. Working together, the representatives will employ data-driven best practices from both within and outside of Government to identify challenges in improving customer service, share strategies to address these challenges, and expand the use of feedback data, self-assessments, data-sharing, and journey mapping.
Building a Government that works smarter, better, and more efficiently to deliver results for the American people is a cornerstone of the President’s Management Agenda and a key focus of this Administration since the start. Today’s update and establishment of the Core Federal Services Council demonstrate the Administration’s continued commitment to make evidence-based, data-driven decisions and uphold its duty to serve the American people.