On Dec. 12, 2007 a new executive order initiated a review of nearly every federal agency to determine: 1. If the agency targets were suitably outcome-oriented; and 2. If measures are appropriate for each target The executive order classifies targets in three categories: (1) Long-term Measures: Program outcomes that fulfill the program’s purpose; (2) Annual Measures: Implementation of plans and efforts to achieve long-term and strategic goals; and (3) Efficiency Measures: Efforts to provide the most benefits (outcomes and outputs) for the taxpayer dollar spent. The timeline of this review is very aggressive; each agency will be reviewed by February 22, with revised measures developed and adopted by June 30. What is interesting is the focus on reliability, validity and quality (see quote below) -- which align closely with the Guiding Principles for Evaluators. From the Order:
The Government’s ability to determine a program’s effectiveness, and to direct attention to genuinely desired outcomes, is largely dependent upon the quality of the programs’ performance and efficiency goals, i.e., their measures and targets. PART goals aren’t always as outcome-oriented as they can be. We should continue to make PART program goals more outcome-oriented and aggressive as well as ensure measures are characterized correctly in PARTWeb.