The Obama Administration and PBB: Building on the Legacy of Federal Performance-Informed Budgeting?
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 The American Society for Public Administration
Public Administration Review
Volume 71, Issue 3, pages 356–367, May/June 2011
How to Cite
Joyce, P. G. (2011), The Obama Administration and PBB: Building on the Legacy of Federal Performance-Informed Budgeting?. Public Administration Review, 71: 356–367. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02355.x
- Issue published online: 9 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2011
The administration of President Barack Obama, like those of his immediate predecessors, is focused on trying to improve the quality of, and use of, performance data. The federal government has been pursuing performance-informed budget reforms for more than 50 years. Most recently, the Bush administration reforms included the President’s Management Agenda and the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The Obama administration reforms include: measuring the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; reducing or eliminating poorly-performing programs; setting a limited number of short-term, high-priority performance goals; and funding detailed program evaluations. The administration is taking a more agency-driven approach than the Bush administration, but continues to find it challenging to move beyond production of performance data to its use. There should be opportunities to show how performance information can be used for decision making, given the change in the political climate and the needs to reduce spending and the deficit. Historically, there has been little appetite in the Congress for evidence-based decision making. The administration, however, can continue to demonstrate how federal agencies can use performance information to more effectively manage programs.