I am honored to serve as the representative for Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District, which is home to a remarkably diverse population both in terms of traditional demographics as well as professions. Our corner of Northern Virginia is home to tens of thousands of federal employees who have the expertise and experience to help solve many of our problems. But we also have countless government contractors, non-profits, and private sector businesses that play an integral part in streamlining the way in which projects are tackled. Effective program management is essential to our economy, our businesses, our government, our consumers, and our taxpayers, and our professional diversity is a boon—not a hindrance—to this mission.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) provides invaluable services to the public and private sectors alike, offering a medium for a global network of professionals to exchange ideas and improve efficiency in their respective fields, which are often intertwined in some way. The greater Washington, DC chapter of PMI is the largest in the world, and I have been fortunate to work with your members in an effort to institute these program management best practices within the federal government in a widespread fashion. My predecessor and mentor, Congressman Frank Wolf, believed in improving efficiency through collaborative effort, and I am following in his footsteps.
To further this agenda, I was proud to cosponsor the House version of the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (H.R. 2144). As you may know, this bipartisan legislation establishes additional functions of the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to adopt and oversee implementation of government-wide standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project management within executive agencies and engage with the private sector to identify best practices that would improve efficiency within the government. It also requires the Deputy Director to establish a five-year strategic plan to improve program and project management, as well as act as chair of the Program Management Policy Council within OMB, which would be established by enactment of the bill.
During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, language was adopted in both the House and Senate version to include provisions of the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA), though the House language largely exempted the Department of Defense (DOD). In August, I wrote to the House-Senate conferees for the NDAA asking them to ultimately ensure that DOD is included, as DOD represents the agency that could ultimately stand to gain the most from improved program management. Congress has also passed the Senate version as stand-alone legislation.
I am optimistic that, either through the NDAA or through a House-Senate Conference Report, we will get this legislation to the president’s desk and signed into law before year’s end. I will continue to do all that I can to make it happen, but you should also continue to advocate your position to your senators and representatives. We have come this far, and we must see it through to the end.