Obama appoints Nancy Killefer as chief performance officer


10:50 a.m. EST: Killefer just gave a short statement, talking about the need to work across agency boundaries to improve services. She also said a few words about federal employees:

Government employees themselves will be central to this effort. I am convinced that the success of every policy of this administration will be influenced by the people engaged in it.

10:43 a.m. EST: Obama on that rapidly-growing budget deficit:

My own economic and budget team projects that unless we take decisive action, even after our economy pulls out of its slide, trillion-dollar deficits will be a reality for years to come.

10:35 a.m. EST: Obama has selected Nancy Killefer as his chief performance officer. Killefer is currently a director at McKinsey & Company; she was an assistant secretary of the treasury during the Clinton administration.

Her appointment comes on a day when the Congressional Budget Office is projecting a $1.2 trillion deficit in 2009 (not including a potentially $1 trillion economic stimulus package). Obama has pledged major reforms to bring the deficit under control. So expect Killefer to look for places to cut: failing programs, redundancies, and the like.

Killefer will also have a big role in reforming the Program Assessment and Rating Tool — PART — the Bush administration’s performance management tool. Obama wants PART to focus on cross-cutting programs, and he wants PART scores to have a stronger impact on the appropriations process.

9:58 a.m. EST: The press conference is starting late, so don’t expect any updates until about 10:35.

Original post: We’re live from President-elect Barack Obama’s transition headquarters in Northwest Washington. Obama’s holding a press conference at 10:15 ET; he’s expected to announce his pick for chief performance officer.

This is a new position we’ve reported on in the past; Obama envisions the CPO working with agency heads to improve failing programs.

We’ll have live updates from the press conference as soon as it starts.


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