8DA527AEd01 - United States General Accounting Office GAO...

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MANAGEMENT REFORM Elements of Successful Improvement Initiatives Statement of J. Christopher Mihm, Associate Director Federal Management and Workforce Issues and James R. White, Director Tax Policy and Administration Issues General Government Division United States General Accounting Office GAO Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring, and the District of Columbia Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate For Release on Delivery Expected at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday October 15, 1999 GAO/T-GGD-00-26
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Statement Management Reform: Elements of Successful Improvement Initiatives Page 1 GAO/T-GGD-00-26 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: We are pleased to be here today to contribute to the Subcommittee’s ongoing efforts to identify ways to improve the management and performance of the federal government. As you know, last January we issued a new volume of reports, the Performance and Accountability Series, outlining the major management challenges confronting our largest federal agencies and the substantial opportunities for improving their performance. 1 Many of the challenges discussed in that series represent long-standing, difficult, and complex problems that our work has shown will not be easily or quickly resolved. In fact, implementing and sustaining major change initiatives requires a cultural transformation for many agencies. Therefore, given the magnitude of the problems an agency may face, and the extensive effort and long period of time it can take before problems are fully resolved, progress must often be measured initially in terms of whether the agency has a well thought out management improvement initiative in place to guide its reform efforts. As agreed with the Subcommittee, this morning we will discuss the elements that our wide-ranging work on federal management issues suggests are particularly important in implementing and sustaining management improvement initiatives that genuinely take root and eventually resolve the problems they are intended to fix. These elements are (1) a demonstrated leadership commitment and accountability for change; (2) the integration of management improvement initiatives into programmatic decisionmaking; (3) thoughtful and rigorous planning to guide decisions, particularly to address human capital and information technology issues; (4) employee involvement to elicit ideas and build commitment and accountability; (5) organizational alignment to streamline operations and clarify accountability; and (6) strong and continuing congressional involvement. Not surprisingly, the elements of successful management improvement initiatives that we will discuss today are consistent with the approaches shared by performance-based management efforts under the Government Performance and Results Act (Results Act) and quality management that we discussed in our July 29, 1999, statement for this Subcommittee. 2
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8DA527AEd01 - United States General Accounting Office GAO...

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