The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved legislation intended to enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management in the federal government. S.1550, the “Program Management Improvement Accountability Act” or PMIAA, has four primary goals:

  • To create a formal job series and career path for program managers who work for the feds;
  • To develop a federal “standards-based program management policy”;
  • To recognize the important role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in each agency to act as the program management improvement officer; and
  • To create a program management policy council that will act as an interagency forum for improving agency practices.

If the bill passes, the new council will exist within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The bill exempts the Department of Defense, which already has similar measures in place.

Now the legislation must return to the U.S. Senate, where it was originally introduced, for re-passage in its final form. From there it will head to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

The bill has the support of the Project Management Institute. “The PMIAA is an important step to improving the government’s ability to effectively manage its portfolio of projects and programs and will help ensure program managers are able to serve as stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said PMI President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Langley, in a prepared statement.

The non-profit organization has reported that only two-thirds of government initiatives meet their goals and business intent and that the government wastes $101 million for every $1 billion spent on projects and programs.