Executive Order 12552 -- Productivity Improvement Program for the Federal Government

February 25, 1986

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended, and in order to establish a comprehensive program for the improvement of productivity throughout all Executive departments and agencies, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. There is hereby established a government-wide program to improve the quality, timeliness, and efficiency of services provided by the Federal government. The goal of the program shall be to improve the quality and timeliness of service to the public, and to achieve a 20 percent productivity increase in appropriate functions by 1992. Each Executive department and agency will be responsible for contributing to the achievement of this goal.

Sec. 2. As used in this Order, the term:

(a) ``Productivity'' means the efficiency with which resources are used to produce a government service or product at specified levels of quality and timeliness;

(b) ``Services'' means those functions and activities performed by the Federal government to achieve program objectives;

(c) ``Common agency functions'' means those functions which are found in more than one agency, such as awarding grants or loans to individuals or institutions, providing direct benefit payments, processing claims, or furnishing health care;

(d) ``Common government functions'' means those functions that are common to every agency, such as administrative services;

(e) ``Measurement system'' means both the specific measures used to determine whether standards of quality, timeliness, and efficiency of services are being met, and the procedures for the collection and reporting of data resulting from application of productivity measures;

(f) ``Organizational performance standard'' means a statement which quantifies and describes the desired level of quality, timeliness, and efficiency of services to be provided by an organization;

(g) ``Management review'' means the review by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as part of the budget process, of agency accomplishments and plans for management and productivity improvements.

Sec. 3. The head of each Executive department and agency shall:

(a) Use the agency's planning process to review current functions, develop agency goals and objectives for improvement in services, and to identify those functions which offer the most significant opportunity for major gains in quality, timeliness, and efficiency.

(b) Develop and submit annually to the Office of Management and Budget a productivity plan. Each plan shall conform to the policy guidance issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, pursuant to Section 5 of this Order, and shall:

(1) set forth the agency's productivity goals and objectives;

(2) target priorities for the year, and expand coverage each subsequent year to additional appropriate functions and programs, with the objective of broadest possible coverage on all appropriate functions by 1992;

(3) describe the proposed actions designed to make the agency's operations and delivery of services more efficient and responsive;

(4) describe the methods, including efficiency reviews and cost comparisons with the private sector, that the agency will use either to improve its own service, or to make use of commercial services available in the private sector when it is economical to do so; and,

(5) describe the measurement systems to be used by the agency to gauge quality, timeliness, and efficiency.

(c) Implement the productivity program after the management review by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as provided in Section 6.

(d) Assess annually the agency's progress toward achieving objectives and priorities, including documented gains and cost savings. This assessment will form the basis of the agency's report to the Domestic Policy Council as required by Section 4.

(e) Designate a senior official responsible for guiding the agency's productivity improvement program;

(f) Inform agency managers and employees that they are expected to be responsible for improvements in the quality, timeliness, and efficiency of services;

(g) Encourage employee participation in the productivity program through employee training, incentives, recognition, rewards and by taking actions to minimize negative impacts on employees which may occur as a result of the productivity program.

Sec. 4. The head of each Executive department and agency shall report annually to the President through the Domestic Policy Council on accomplishments achieved under the plan.

Sec. 5. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is authorized to:

(a) Develop and promulgate goals, policies, principles, standards, and guidelines for the effective administration of this Order by Executive departments and agencies;

(b) Identify and propose the elimination of statutory barriers that inhibit opportunities to make improvements in productivity; and

(c) In consultation with the agencies, select and develop organizational performance standards for those common government and common agency functions that are appropriate targets for improvement in quality, timeliness, and efficiency.

Sec. 6. The Director shall review, through the management review process, each agency's productivity plan based upon the requirements and guidance issued pursuant to Section 5 of this Order. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as displacing agency responsibilities delegated by law.

Sec. 7. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall submit to Congress, in conjunction with the President's budget, a report on productivity plans and accomplishments of the agencies and the government as a whole.

Sec. 8. The Director of the Office of Pernonnel Management shall:

(a) review incentive practices and programs and other personnel policies and practices which relate to the productivity of the Federal work force and make or recommend such changes as will support productivity improvement;

(b) develop programs to minimize negative impacts on employees; such programs should include, among others, continued development of retraining and job placement alternatives; and

(c) develop and implement training programs for Federal employees to assist them in their performance of productivity improvement tasks.

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management will report to the Office of Management and Budget on actions taken pursuant to this Section.

Ronald Reagan
The White House,
February 25, 1986.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:18 a.m., February 26, 1986]