Despite Pandemic, Agencies Still Meeting PMA CAP Goal Milestones

Federal agencies have simultaneously adjusted core functions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while making substantial progress on implementing cross-agency priority (CAP) goals, says the July 2020 update of President’s Management Agenda (PMA) progress.

According to the update, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Federal agencies to “demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability of agency management processes to meet a changed operating environment.” While some CAP goals face delays because of the pandemic, many teams continued to complete core milestones on time.

As leaders reviewed the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2020, several CAP goals have been consolidated or otherwise shifted to reflect changing priorities.

Three CAP goals – modernizing infrastructure permitting process, getting payments right, and security clearance, suitability, and credentialing reform – have matured from the planning stage to the demonstrating results stage. A frictionless acquisition CAP goal has been introduced to PMA, absorbing the improve management of major acquisitions CAP goal, to enhance delivery and resiliency of Federal contracting. The Federal IT spending transparency CAP goal has been dissolved and incorporated into the IT modernization, data, accountability, and transparency, and category management CAP goals.

Agencies completed several key drivers of transformation CAP goals in the first two quarters of FY2020 as many others remain on track to be completed later this year. As a part of its IT modernization CAP goals, FedRAMP and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) conducted a feasibility assessment for the development of the Cyber Cloud Corps in quarter one.

Leaders of the data, accountability, and transparency CAP goal marked “significant progress” in meeting milestones through efforts such as the December 2019 release of the Federal Data Strategy Action Plan for 2020. In quarter two, OMB and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) completed a total compensation study on the Federal workforce, and OPM provided agencies with online assessments for executive qualifications screenings as a part of the workforce for the 21st century CAP goal.

Within the cross-cutting priority areas category of CAP goals, leaders of the improving customer experience CAP goal outlined several strides made thus far in FY20. In April, for example, the team began a hiring pilot to bolster the government CX workforce. More than 800 individuals have applied for 30 new “CX strategist” positions across the Federal government.

The sharing quality services CAP goal marked its initial Federal Integrated Business Framework for core financial management complete, and completed reviews of its human resources, cybersecurity, and core financial management Quality Service Management Offices five-year plans. Leaders of the shifting from low-value to high-value work CAP goal documented ongoing progress in robotics process automation implementation throughout the Federal government.

Within functional priority area CAP goals – including category management, results-oriented accountability for grants, getting payments right, Federal IT spending transparency, and frictionless acquisition CAP goals – leaders documented some delays due to COVID-19, but overall reported progress. Key areas of progress included OMB’s issuance of a proposed guidance to support the adoption of standard data elements as a part of the results-oriented accountability for grants CAP goal, and the getting payments right CAP goal’s building of a master database for concise viewing of government monetary loss.

As a part of the mission priority areas CAP goals, the team behind the modernizing infrastructure permitting CAP goal launched agency accountability scorecards to evaluate agency performance and overall progress in government environmental reviewed during the first two quarters of FY2020. The security clearance, suitability, and credentialing reform CAP goal completed its milestone to reduce the inventory of background investigations to a sustainable state a year early in February 2020 and the lab-to-market CAP goal developed its recommendations for making federally-funded technologies, knowledge, and capabilities more attractive for private investment, among several other milestones within each CAP.

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