The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today unveiled its latest President’s Management Agenda (PMA) quarterly updates for the period ending June 30, featuring new goal statements for Federal procurement and financial management under “Managing the Business of Government” – one of the three major PMA objectives.

According to OMB’s announcing today, the team overseeing execution of the government business management portion of the PMA expects to publish success metrics and milestones for that effort in the next set of quarterly updates.

The team explained that the current challenges the government faces in the business management area include implementing continuous improvements in the Federal government’s procurement, financial assistance, and financial management ecosystems. Those areas cover $1.5 trillion of annual Federal contracting and financial assistance – and sometimes more in times of crisis.

“Accomplishing these ambitious goals and activities collectively will also require continuous improvements in our procurement, financial assistance, and financial management ecosystems,” the update says.

“This shift will require new measures and processes, new training for the Federal workforce, and new tradeoffs that agencies together will need to address going forward,” it adds.

The first strategy under the business management portion the PMA laid includes fostering lasting improvements in the Federal acquisition system to strengthen the U.S. domestic manufacturing base, supporting American workers, leading by example toward sustainable climate solutions, and creating opportunities for underserved communities.

“The Federal Government is the world’s largest buyer of goods and services, and the success of the Federal acquisition system directly impacts the ability of agencies to meet their missions and the degree to which contracting can act as a catalyst to support critical public priorities, such as equity and stewardship,” the update notes.

In addition, OMB said that the enterprise approach enables the Federal procurement system to adapt and adjust in a coordinated manner to meet government-wide objectives, such as the administration’s goals to advance domestic manufacturing.

To accomplish this strategy, the team set forth three goals it plans to meet:

  • Create a diverse and resilient federal marketplace;
  • Ensure interoperability and sharing of acquisition data and tools; and
  • Build our best by developing an inspired, engaged acquisition workforce.

The second business management strategy laid out by OMB is to build capacity in Federal financial management – including through Federal financial assistance – to catalyze American industrial strategy, address climate-related risks, and deliver equitable results.

Now is an opportune time to break down silos and focus on managing the business of government as a Federal enterprise to ensure that system-wide, continuous improvement occurs, OMB said.

“This system-wide focus requires first examining the current capacity of the financial assistance workforce to ensure it has the guidance and training required to develop and administer grant programs equitably and efficiently,” the update notes.

OMB explained that capacity-building strategies need to be implemented to guarantee a lasting change in how business is conducted, including examining how financial assistance policies are informed and established.

To accomplish this OMB set out two goals:

  • Strengthen and formalize the governance of Federal financial assistance across Federal agencies to advance the Federal government’s ability and capacity to implement the PMA and statutory requirements effectively and efficiently through Federal programs; and
  • Build a robust financial assistance community that identifies and strengthens the core competencies of grants managers.

OMB said the Biden-Harris administration has already taken “bold action to leverage Federal acquisition and financial assistance to take on our most pressing challenges as a country.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.