The Government Customer Service Improvement Act (H.R. 1660), which passed by a voice vote, would task the Office of Management and Budget with setting targets for the time taken to respond to email and telephone calls as well as to process benefits and payments. The bill also calls for OMB to guide agencies on how to effectively publish customer service contact information.
The Senate Appropriations mark of the fiscal 2014 spending bill for general government funding includes the full request for the e-Government Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund. Appropriators routinely fund the e-gov fund at less than the authorized ceiling or the White House request, although whether that's necessarily a sign of lack of commitment to e-gov projects is a matter of debate.
Identifying who belongs to the federal grant workforce is not straightforward, a report from the Government Accountability Office says. Some agencies use grant management specialists in tandem with subject-matter experts to oversee grants, while others use subject-matter experts only.
When developing fiscal 2015 budget requests, agencies should draw on existing program performance metrics to make resource allocation decisions and develop new ways for evaluating whether programs are effective, a July 26 Office of Management and Budget memo on budget submission guidance says.
"I am satisfied that they are taking it seriously, but I want to be careful with the word 'satisfied.' I'm very encouraged by the signs that I have seen," Howard Shelanski told the House Small Business Committee. Shelanski was confirmed as the new OIRA administrator on June 27, replacing Cass Sunstein.
The risk status of information technology projects listed on the IT Dashboard isn't verified and shouldn't necessarily be trusted, acknowledged Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel during a July 25 House hearing. "We don't in OMB, in my office, track the self-reported status as the key indicator of performance on investments. It's a fool's errand to track self-reported," he said.
The House Appropriations Committee approved July 17 a spending bill for the coming fiscal year that would combine the e-government fund with the Federal Citizen Services Fund within the General Services Administration to create a single "Information Engagement for Citizens Fund."
A Senate Appropriations subcommittee marked up July 16 a spending bill that would permit the Coast Guard to spend $1.23 billion on capital expenditures in the coming fiscal year--slightly greater than the $1.22 billion approved by the House, and substantially greater than the $951 million proposed by the White House.
Congress could promote strategic sourcing by setting goals in legislation that would hold agencies accountable for their use of it, Cristina Chaplain of the Government Accountability Office said July 15. Those who achieve savings might see their budgets cut the next year, Chaplain said.
Sequestration should not cut off the Patent and Trademark Office from its fee revenue, a group of House members from California said in a letter to the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the agency's funding. That funding comes entirely from fees that companies and inventors pay for applications and processing, but the Office of Management and Budget determined that the PTO is subject to sequestration.