U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 1 DECEMBER 2016

The U.S. Senate has unanimously re-approved S.1550,the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA), which will enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management throughout the federal government. The legislation, strongly endorsed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), has now cleared both chambers of Congress with bi-partisan support and will go to President Barack Obama for his signature.

This action, which occurred yesterday evening, marks the second time the Senate has unanimously approved this legislation. A previously-passed version of the bill cleared the House of Representatives on 22 September 2016 with minor modifications. The revised legislation was then sent back to the Senate for final approval

The PMIAA reforms federal program management policy in four important ways:

  • Creating a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.
  • Developing a standards-based program management policy across the federal government.
  • Recognizing the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in federal agencies to be responsible for program management policy and strategy.
  • Sharing knowledge of successful approaches to program management through an interagency council on program management.

“This critical legislation will help maximize efficiency within the U.S. federal government, thereby generating more successful program outcomes and increasing the value that Americans receive for their tax dollars,” said PMI President and Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Langley. “We are pleased this landmark bill has passed the U.S. Senate again, and we would like to thank Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota for their leadership in advancing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation. We look forward to having this bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in the coming days.”

The reforms outlined in the PMIAA are consistent with PMI member input and research that shows that organizations that invest in program management talent and standards improve outcomes, accountability and efficiency. The findings demonstrated by PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® report also indicate that standardized approaches, engaged executive sponsors and certified professionals are fundamental building blocks to all organizations achieving their highest levels of performance. Improving program management leads to benefits such as increased collaboration, improved decision making and reduced risk.

PMI’s report also uncovered that only 64 percent of government strategic initiatives ever meet their goals and business intent — and that government entities waste $101 million for every $1 billion spent on project and programs. The research also shows that these best practices result in improved efficiency and less money being wasted. Most importantly, organizations see more projects delivering expected value to stakeholders on time and within budget.

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