Government-wide Management Initiatives and Cross-Agency Priority Goals
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry kicks off a discussion of Africa's Great Lakes region by the United Nations Security Council in New York City, July 25, 2013. Department of State
The Department of State is also working on advancing the Administration's Government-wide management agenda as outlined by the President during his two terms in office. Both management agendas are a path forward towards improving the Federal Government's performance and accountability to the American people and working to create a Government that is more effective, efficient, innovative, and responsive. In July 2013, for his second term, the President released his second term management agenda focusing on:
- Delivering services smarter and faster,
- Increasing efficiency and saving money, and
- Supporting a growing economy and job creation.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces that Ambassador Martin Indyk will serve as the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., July 29, 2013. Department of State
In FY 2013, the Department focused on the President's first-term cross-agency Government-wide management initiatives:
- Acquisition: efforts include saving money on contracting, decreasing contracting risk, expanding strategic sourcing, and developing the acquisition workforce;
- Financial Management: efforts include reducing improper payments, managing property effectively, increasing reliability of financial information and improving debt collection;
- Human Resources: efforts include hiring the best talent, engaging the workforce, and expecting the best from employees;
- Information Technology: efforts include improving management of information technology investments, streamlining technology operations, and improving cybersecurity;
- Open Government: efforts include promoting transparency, fostering participation, and increasing collaboration;
- Sustainability: efforts include reducing the government's carbon footprint, developing agency sustainability plans, and developing a comprehensive sustainability scorecard; and
- Customer Service: efforts include offering more services online, creating a dashboard on citizen services, and adopting customer service best practices.
To work towards the Government-wide management initiatives, the Department is also a key participant in the Federal cross-agency priority (CAP) goals. The CAP goals are a subset of Presidential priorities, and are complemented by other cross-agency coordination and goal-setting efforts. The CAP goals are outcome-oriented goals that cover a limited number of cross-cutting policy areas and are identified in areas where increased cross-agency coordination on outcome-focused areas is likely to improve progress.
While some agency priority goals may be linked to CAP goals, most APGs will focus on core agency missions and are not always tied directly to a CAP goal. For the Government to make progress on its CAP goals, OMB has identified contributing agencies or programs under each goal. In all cases, agencies and contributing programs that are responsible for making progress on CAP goals will be required to contribute to the development of the overall action plan and identify clearly their respective agency contributions to the overall goal. The CAP goal leader will work the Performance Improvement Council, the corresponding Government-wide management council, OMB, and agencies to determine each agency's contribution to the overall plan.
Federal agencies participating in the CAP goals provide quarterly performance results via the Federal performance website www.performance.gov. This website provides a window to the Government-wide efforts to centralize program information. This information will facilitate coordination across programs as well as improve public understanding of the services delivered by the Government. The website provides two main approaches to viewing information: by agency or area of focus. The website also includes the information required by law, such as: goal leader(s), contributing agencies, organizations, programs, targets, key milestones, major management challenges, and plans to address these challenges.
Below is a hyperlinked table to the Federal CAP goals that the Department contributes to. Per the GPRAMA requirement to address CAP goals in the agency Strategic Plan, the Annual Performance Plan, and the Annual Performance Report, please also refer to www.performance.gov for more on the agency's contributions to those goals and progress, where applicable.
|Priority Goal||performance.gov link|
|Closing Skills Gaps||http://goals.performance.gov/node/38552|
|Data Center Consolidation||http://goals.performance.gov/node/38507|
|Open Government Data||http://opengov.performance.gov|
What is Digital Diplomacy?
The traditional work of diplomacy - interactions between representatives of sovereign states - remains the core of our work. However, in today's interconnected world, individuals and organizations - not just countries - play a larger role in international affairs. The global network of information and communication technology connects more than half of all the people on Earth, mostly through mobile phones. (Read more...)
A brief description of the CAP goals to which the Department of State contributes follows.
- Closing Skills Gaps: This goal aims to close the skills gaps by 50 percent for three to five critical Federal Government occupations or competencies, and close additional agency-specific high risk occupation and competency gaps by September 30, 2013.
- Human Resources: Under this goal, agencies must attract, develop, and engage the most talented and diverse workforce possible in order to achieve the best for the American public.
- Exports: This goal was launched with the target of doubling U.S. exports over five years (by the end of 2014). While exports are fundamentally driven by the private sector, the Federal Government has an important role to play in helping U.S. exporters overcome the obstacles that make it more difficult to sell their goods and services abroad.
- Cybersecurity: Under this goal, Executive branch agencies established the goal of 95 percent implementation of the Administration's priority cybersecurity capabilities by the end of FY 2014. These capabilities include strong authentication, trusted internet connections, and continuous monitoring.
- Sustainability: By 2020, the Federal Government aims to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent and reduce its indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent by 2020 (from 2008 baseline).
- Real Property: Under this goal, the Federal Government aims to maintain the FY 2012 square footage baseline of its office and warehouse inventory.
- Data Center Consolidation: Under this goal, the Federal Government aims to improve information technology service delivery, reduce waste, and save $3 billion in taxpayer dollars by closing at least 1,200 data centers by fiscal year 2015.
- Strategic Sourcing: Under this goal, the Federal Government aims to reduce the costs of acquiring common products and services by agencies' strategic sourcing of at least two new commodities or services in both 2013 and 2014, yielding at least a 10 percent savings.
- Performance Improvement: To improve the Federal Government's performance, three key initiatives were implemented: using goals to improve performance and accountability, measuring and analyzing performance to determine what works, and delivering better results using frequent, data-driven reviews.
- Acquisition: To improve acquisitions by the Federal Government, four key initiatives were implemented: save money on contracting, decrease contracting risk, develop acquisition workforce, and expand strategic sourcing.
- Finance: To improve the financial management of the Federal Government, four key initiatives were implemented: reduce improper payments, increase reliability of financial information, manage property effectively, and collect money owed.
- Technology: This goal aims to close the gap in effective technology between the private and public sectors, create a more efficient Federal IT footprint, and more effectively secure our Federal assets.
- Open Government Data: This goal aims to unlock the value of Government data by adopting a management approach that inventories and prioritizes the opening of agency information resources through user engagement across agencies, entrepreneurs, and the public.
- Customer Service: Under this goal, each Executive branch agency is required to develop a customer service plan that identifies implementation steps for their customer service activities, including a "signature initiative" that uses technology to improve the customer experience. As its signature initiative, the Department will implement a Passport Card Application Pilot that demonstrates its ability to accept, adjudicate, and archive an online application for a passport card.
Cyber Issues - A New Challenge to U.S. National Security
The State Department leads the U.S. Government's engagement with other countries to promote an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free expression and innovation. In order to facilitate this mission, the Department established the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues in February 2011 as a part of the QDDR process. Its responsibilities include: coordinating global diplomatic engagement, serving as liaison to the White House and Federal agencies, advising the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries on cyber issues, and acting as liaison to public and private sector entities. (Read more...)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman oversee the first meeting of their interagency team before the kickoff negotiating session with their Russian counterparts focused on eliminating Syrian chemical weapons, September 12, 2013. Department of State