OMB Needs To Intensify Its Work Measurement Effort

FPCD-78-63: Published: Jul 24, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1978.

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed federal agencies to use work measurement systems, when available, in preparing their fiscal year 1979 Zero Base Budget (ZBB) submissions. Without reliable work measurement systems, budget reviewers cannot review, evaluate, and set ZBB priorities from well-supported staffing requirements. Therefore, agencies may be employing too many or too few employees to support their missions. A review was conducted of five agencies which OMB designated as having the best ZBB submissions--the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Information Agency, the International Revenue Service, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The agencies reviewed varied considerably in their use of work measurement systems to determine staffing requirements. The general attitude among these agencies was that the use of work measurement systems to support staffing requirements is not mandatory. They have not received any specific guidance from OMB identifying those areas which are susceptible to work measurement. Since they do not believe that establishment of work measurement systems would be cost effective, these agencies generally do not have any immediate plans to develop such systems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Director, OMB, should: (1) identify areas where work measurement systems are applicable and cost-effective and enforce their use; (2) clearly specify the functions or elements of agency responsibilities where use of work measurement systems to support staffing requirements is optional; (3) provide agencies with assistance in developing work measurement systems and enforce their use as planning tools; and (4) monitor the reliability of agency work measurement systems.

    Agency Affected:


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