To address previously identified performance issues throughout the Federal Government, multiple laws have since been enacted to improve capabilities – including but not limited to program and project management, IT management, risk management, financial management, and internal control – to deliver federal programs within scope, cost, and schedule and achieve or exceed intended outcomes. In response, the Department of Energy (DOE) continues to strive for improved performance as the Department has embarked on efforts to enhance its governance structure and skilled workforce pertaining to the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBE) and evaluation of its programs.  One of these efforts, in addition to those listed below, includes establishing a standardized DOE-wide PPBE framework to improve multi-year, long-term (at least 5 years out) program planning and execution throughout the Department.

Program Management

On December 14, 2016, the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA) was signed into law. The Act aims to improve program management within the Federal government. To do so, the PMIAA requires government-wide standards and policies for program management, and establishes a new interagency council – the Program Management Policy Council (PMPC) – to improve program management practices among Federal agencies.  Per OMB guidance (M-18-19), the PMIAA is to be implemented across three (3) phases:

Phase I (FY 18-19)

  • Appoint PMIOs
  • Establish PMPC (OMB)
  • Publish Framework outlining P/PM Standards
  • Establish Portfolio Reviews for Major Acquisitions
  • Establish Job Series or Identifier (OPM)

Phase II (FY 20-21)

  • Expand Portfolio Reviews of programs to include grants

Phase III (FY 22)

  • Issue revised 5-year Strategic Plan (with updated strategies)
  • Identify additional areas for Portfolio Reviews
  • refining P/PM Standards
  • Lessons Learned (OMB)

On February 8, 2019, the Deputy Secretary designated the DOE Chief Risk Officer as the Program Management Improvement Officer (PMIO). The PMIO’s responsibility is to ensure effective implementation of DOE’s program management policies and develop strategies to enhance the role of program management and managers within the Department. The PMIO also participates on the PMPC and shares DOE best practices and lessons learned for the benefit of the broader community of Federal program and project managers and staff.

On September 23, 2021, the Department issued DOE Policy (P) 410.3, Program Management, to establish DOE’s expectations – and a tailorable framework – for program management to accomplish the Agency’s mission and goals efficiently and effectively, as DOE programs cover a wide spectrum of activities, including mission support, research and development, high risk/high uncertainty technology sharing, weapons refurbishment, power marketing, and acquisition of capital assets.  It also includes the Department’s expectations pertaining to Program Evaluation and evidence building.

Program Evaluation

On January 14, 2019, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Public Law No. 115-435) was signed into law.  The purpose of the Act is to establish processes for the federal government to modernize its data management practices, evidence-building functions, and statistical efficiency to inform policy decisions. The basis of the legislation was recommendations issued by the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.  OMB is committed to aligning related data and information policy guidance, such as the Strategy and related OMB guidance, like OMB Circular A-11, as applicable; and providing iterative and supplemental guidance in four (4) phases:

  • Phase 1: Learning Agendas, Personnel, and Planning (OMB M-19-23, July 10, 2019);
  • Phase 2: Open Data Access and Management (issue date TBD);
  • Phase 3: Data Access for Statistical Purposes (issue date TBD); and
  • Phase 4: Program Evaluation Standards and Practices (OMB M-20-12, March 10, 2020).

Designated positions (i.e., Chief Data Officer (CDO), Evaluation Officer (EO), and Statistical Official) play a key role in leading these activities, including new reporting requirements.  These officials also serve on a required Data Governance Body inside their agencies.

  1. Chief Data Officer: Required to be part of the agency’s senior leadership and responsible for data management, privacy and confidentiality, and data access. The officer is required to participate in the federal government-wide Chief Data Officers council that will, among other things, identify ways to protect data privacy and promote appropriate data sharing. Previously filled by the Deputy Chief Financial Officer (Subsequent to the new Administration arriving, the Chief Data Officer position has been vacated)
  2. Evaluation Officer: Required to provide leadership over the agency’s evidence-building activities, including its evaluation activities, learning agenda, and capacity assessment. The Evaluation Officer must be a member of the agency’s Data Governance Body and the Evaluation Officer Council.  Named on July 9, 2018; Currently filled by the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and Program Management Improvement Officer (PMIO)
  3. Statistical Official: Required to direct and coordinate all statistical policy for the agency, including policy and standards related to data quality, confidentiality, and appropriate data access. The Statistical Official must be a member of the agency’s Data Governance Body and serve on the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy.  Named on July 9, 2018; Currently filled by DOE Energy Information Administrator (EIA)

Embedded in DOE P 410.3, Program Management, are the Department’s expectations for Program Evaluation and evidence building (refer to Principle No. 11, Evidence-Based Decision Making, and Appendix C, Supplementary Considerations).

Data Governance Board (DGB)

The purpose of the DOE Data Governance Board (DGB) is to provide leadership to DOE for implementing a key objective of the President’s Management Agenda: Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset. The DGB leads Department initiatives in key data-focused strategic areas such as open access, quality, privacy, security, systems, analytics, and lifecycle management. The DGB also facilitates DOE’s ability to use data and build evidence in order to inform future decision-making.

The DGB is chaired by the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and includes senior Federal employee representatives from both DOE support and program offices.  The CDO may appoint additional members from DOE offices, National Labs, production sites, and other DOE resources as needed.

Program Evaluation Activities

At DOE, the implementation of evaluation and evidence-building actions is embedded as part of the planning and execution efforts of each of the program and functional offices.  For more, refer to the DOE Program and Functional Offices Evaluation/Evidence-Building Activities, FY 2025 Evaluation Plan, Learning Agenda and Capacity Assessment Information Paper.