Administrative Conference of the United States Needs Better Project Management

GGD-80-13: Published: Feb 4, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 1980.

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The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) was established in 1964 as an advisory body with the aim of making administrative procedures fairer and more efficient. It has directed its activities toward understanding and improving the administrative process. Generally, ACUS projects tend to be small. Through its research projects ACUS has developed recommendations for administrative improvements and an information base for its other activities.

Many ACUS projects, intended to improve administrative procedures, have not led to recommendations or other tangible results. Even when projects led to recommendations, the feedback on their implementation has been limited. ACUS projects are not planned in a systematic manner. No long-range planning of projects exists to meet established objectives nor is there a council or committee review process to select projects. ACUS documentation of projects is inadequate. Not all project costs are included in project costs reported to Congress. ACUS lacks the staff to comprehensively evaluate all its project recommendations. Attempts to evaluate agency implementation of ACUS recommendations have been limited to independent agencies. In the past, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has served as a focal point to determine whether executive departments are implementing another agency's recommendations and could do so for ACUS, as well. This would permit ACUS staff to clarify and verify agency responses rather than simply request such responses. ACUS has not assessed the impact of implemented recommendations. Such feedback could assist ACUS in planning future projects.

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