MA

Specks of Tech in the Biden-Harris Performance Management Agenda

Published: December 02, 2021

Federal Market AnalysisAdministration TransitionGovernment PerformanceInformation Technology

Technology, in particular automation, information security and data management tools, are key to achieving the results called for by the new Biden-Harris PMA.

Beginning in 2001 with the Bush Administration, each presidential administration since has released one or more President Management Agendas (PMA). A PMA sets forth an administration’s multi-year, multi-effort strategy for optimal government performance, operations, and service delivery. Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration released its first PMA, “…grounded in a vision of an equitable, effective, and accountable Government that delivers results for all Americans, and informed by our shared values—will support progress and opportunities beyond the reach of any one Federal agency, given that building back better will require a whole-of-Government effort and transformation in the way Government operates.”

The document presents three priority goals to achieve this PMA vision. Within it, technology plays a central role in delivering the results of the agenda in which contractors can help to provide. For example, federal data management and data science enhancements will be needed to produce evidence-based policymaking decisions to measure the PMA’s progress. The below chart identifies the three priorities in the Biden-Harris PMA, their respective definitions, and the technology roles in each:

Biden-Harris Three-Part PMA Framework

Priority Goal

Definition

Tech Implications

Strengthen and Empower the Federal Workforce

Attract, hire, retain and develop a workforce to meet current and future challenges

  • Expand telework, increase adoption of cloud computing, collaboration tools and automation for federal employees to create work flexibilities and stay competitive with private sector workforce environments
  • Support OPM and OMB to enhance federal human resources through use of data-driven tools for workforce planning and decision-making

Deliver Excellent, Equitable and Secure Federal Services and Customer Experience

Center services to deliver simple, secure, and effective services to the American public.

  • Utilize capabilities such as single login credentialing to streamline federal shared products, services, and standards to improve front-end customer experience
  • Emphasize tools for data interoperability and secure systems among agencies for back-office operations

Manage the Business of Government to Build Back Better

Leverage federal procurement, financial assistance, and financial management ecosystems to create and sustain quality union jobs, address social and economic gaps, and address national challenges.

  • Continuous improvement of government-wide systems and tools, including data management and evidence-building strategies, to improve federal acquisition practices and build federal financial management practices

 

Moreover, the PMA emphasizes the importance of IT modernization and cybersecurity to deliver the plan. “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how critical IT investments are to supporting mission delivery and the essential work of Government. We will continue to bolster Federal cybersecurity and ensure that secure systems help deliver Government services. To better prepare for our future, we also must identify and address critical skills gaps across the Federal IT and cybersecurity workforce,” according to the agenda. The administration also promises to improve data sharing and management, pledging open and secure access to administrative federal datasets that are segregated by demographics and other factors.

The PMA’s announcement promises upcoming implementation steps for the agenda, with “new and expanded cross-Government efforts on specific strategies defined in this PMA Vision.”  Specifically, Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals will be released in early 2022. Also included in these next steps will be the release of a PMA Learning Agenda to identify cross-cutting questions in federal management and how to utilize data to address critical gaps identified. Performance.gov will continue to track the release of upcoming strategies, as well as the measurements of progress of this new PMA.