Center for American Progress

Require Government to Set and Work Toward Achieving Clear Goals

Require Government to Set and Work Toward Achieving Clear Goals

The Office of Management and Budget should work with agencies to accomplish their High Priority Performance Goals.

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The Obama administration adopted High Priority Performance Goals for agencies early in 2010, and the House also recently passed a bill that would require agencies to set similar goals and conduct reviews to ensure they are accomplished. In order to fully realize these goals, government agencies and the Office of Management and Budget should work together to:

  • Make a plan for accomplishing goals
  • Build a trajectory that leads to achieving goals
  • Check progress often by filling out regular progress reports
  • Have review meetings as needed
  • Involve the president in the most important review meetings
  • Listen to an array of different voices on how to best reach the goal
  • Publish up-to-date information on the progress being made

Eighty-three percent of Americans favor setting clear goals for government and measuring results. The public rank setting clear goals the highest of 16 possible reforms to improve the way government works. And even though the poll shows that confidence in government is at an all-time low, those with low confidence strongly believe that setting goals would help improve government effectiveness.

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