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Senators Ernst and Heitkamp applaud House passage of bipartisan Program Management Bill

U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) released the following statements after their bipartisan Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act passed the House of Representatives:

“I am pleased that the House of Representatives passed our bipartisan legislation that will help put a stop to the billions of wasted taxpayer dollars that fall victim to mismanagement throughout the federal government,” said Senator Ernst.

Joni Ernst
Joni Ernst

“By requiring the government to streamline and adopt commonsense management standards, I am confident our bill can help prevent lax oversight, cost overruns, and deficiencies, while also raising the level of accountability for those that manage large federal programs. This is an important step toward making government more cost-effective and efficient. I look forward to continuing to work together with Senator Heitkamp and Congressmen Young and Connolly to ultimately send this much-needed government reform to the President’s desk.”

“Making sure federal programs are well managed is key to creating effective and helpful relationships among federal agencies, communities and businesses, whether it’s in energy, agriculture, or any other field,” said Senator Heitkamp.“This bipartisan bill aims to give federal agencies a framework for better managing their programs, helping us reduce waste and promote effective management practices. Now that my bipartisan bill with Senator Ernst has passed in the House, we’ll continue to work to send it to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”

Congressmen Todd Young (R-IN) and Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), who offered the companion bill in the House (H.R. 2144) also said:

“During my time in the Marine Corps, I saw firsthand the mismanagement that is prevalent throughout far too many defense programs and projects,” said Congressman Young. “This problem pervades all government agencies, with projects often coming in over budget and past deadline. For the first time, our reform legislation will implement government-wide performance standards derived from the private-sector to eliminate inefficiencies, reduce waste, and ensure projects conclude on time and on budget.  The potential cost savings from these reforms are large, and I’m grateful to Senators Ernst and Heitkamp, as well as my Democratic colleague, Congressman Connolly, for their leadership in helping get this legislation across the finish line.”

“From my experience in the private sector, I know firsthand that without a clear mission, measureable benchmarks and the empowerment of program managers, federal projects can, unfortunately, expand beyond their original scope, run behind schedule and over budget,” said Congressman Connolly.“Our legislation strengthens project management policy throughout the federal government by requiring consistent project standards and guidelines for program management, demanding accountability at OMB and in federal agencies to capture and implement lessons learned, and requiring clear identification of skills and competencies necessary for effective program management professionals.”

About the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act:

  • Establishes a leader within each agency that is focused on program management.
  • Creates an inter-agency Program Management Council to drive improvements through portfolio reviews of agency programs and encourages communications between agencies and program management professionals.
  • Requires the development of a specific job category with distinct qualification for project managers.
  • Requires the federal government to adopt widely-accepted program management best practices and standards.
  • Requires the Government Accountability Office to issue a report three years after the bill’s enactment on its overall effectiveness and impact on program management in the federal government.
  • Works directly with the Department of Defense to improve their current procedures while making sure to not duplicate existing efforts.
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