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News Release

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Discusses the President's Management Agenda

Says "earning a green on scorecard takes leadership - and tearing up floors and ripping down walls to address underlying problems within agencies"

Washington, D.C. - During her address Delivering Results on the PMA, given at the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative's Government Summit 2004, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James discussed the President's Management Agenda and how OPM is advising agencies on the strategic management of human capital "by using sound measurement getting agencies to ‘green' on the President's ‘scorecard.'"

"The PMA reflects a management philosophy rooted in excellence and accountability," James said. "Agencies that earn green scores expect to find internal and underlying problems to solve. The best overall agencies tear up floor boards and rip down drywall to fix structural issues at their source."

In the Human Capital Initiative of the President's Management Agenda, the President requests agencies to assure that everything they do in their Human Resource programs is fully aligned with the mission of their organizations, and contributes directly to their mission's success. For example, OPM developed a 45-day hiring model to measure the time it takes an agency to extend an offer to a qualified candidate. Timely hiring is not only good customer service, but it ensures that the right person, with the right experience will enable the agency to meet its mission. Time-to-hire is so critical to the overall success of the federal government that OPM included language on the 45-day hiring model to the 2005 PMA.

"The more leaders develop and stay focused on a strong strategy, the more managers, with support from their human resources professionals, can be effective in placing the right people in the right jobs to carry out the strategy," said James. "At OPM, I required the management team to review all regulations, laws, and executive orders that applied to the agency to determine both our core responsibilities and the full breadth of our authority. And by requiring this review, OPM was able to achieve measurable progress."

Looking toward the future, James outlined initiatives that OPM is reviewing to continue the transformation of the federal work force. These initiatives include: reforming law enforcement pay; reforming the intelligence community and making certain human capital needs are met through modern systems; investing in the training of the federal work force; emphasizing the preparation and performance of the leaders; expanding flexible work arrangements; creating retirement arrangements that allow agencies to preserve institutional knowledge as the "age wave" hits; updating work force emergency planning; and, upgrading the competencies of the 21st century HR work force.

In closing, James said: "Initiatives will be undertaken in the full spirit of our strategy...alignment of people with the accomplishment of agency missions, and with due consideration of the merit principles - the principles which make the American Civil Service the greatest in the world and serve as a key factor in the success of our democracy."

Acknowledging James' work, Robert S. Kaplan, Chairman of the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative and a professor at Harvard Business School, said: "Director Kay Coles James is leading the transformation of human capital management in federal agencies, in support of the President's Management Agenda. I am pleased to see how Director James and OPM are using the balanced scorecard to create a results-based work force by developing human capital strategies across the federal government."

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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