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Number: DAO 202-960
Effective Date: 2011-10-21


.01 This Order sets forth the policies for the Department of Commerce (the Department) Performance Excellence Program. This quality improvement program provides a structure for promoting continuous and breakthrough enhancements to the efficiency with which the Department manages its programs, provides customer service, and carries out its overall mission.

.02 This revision integrates into the program the system of balanced scorecards and performance reviews used by the Department and operating units to define measureable targets for critical annual results and monitor progress toward results. It also establishes that the program reports to the Department Performance Improvement Officer in the Office of the Deputy Secretary


.01 The Performance Excellence Program establishes a framework for continuously and comprehensively assessing and strengthening Department effectiveness, efficiency and customer focus. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program (Baldrige Program), a nation-wide mechanism for promoting and recognizing organizational excellence in the private and public sectors, serves as a model for the Performance Excellence Program. Therefore, the program will integrate the Department’s approaches to leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, workforce focus and process management into a system that achieves results by regularly assessing data on performance. Significant improvements in service delivery and work processes will be identified on a quarterly basis and recognized by the Secretary.

A system of Balanced Scorecards will be used by the Department and operating units to define measureable targets for critical annual results. In accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010, the Deputy Secretary who is also the Department’s Chief Operating Officer, will conduct quarterly Performance Reviews with bureau leadership to assess progress in achieving these results.

.02 The Performance Excellence Program covers all operating units, Departmental offices, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration directorates, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer. The Office of Inspector General may participate in the program to the extent that such participation does not interfere with its independence.


.01 Program Director. The Performance Excellence Program is administered by a Program Director located in the Office of the Deputy Secretary and reporting to the Department of Commerce Performance Improvement Officer. The Program Director is responsible for the design and implementation of the program, and coordination of operations. This includes providing an educational program on the development, deployment and effective use of aligned Balanced Scorecards and process improvement strategies and methodologies. The Director will work with the Performance Excellence Council to develop procedures, training, recognition events, and schedules for the program. The Director will assist the Council members to develop and deploy bureau Performance Excellence Programs.

.02 Performance Excellence Executive Advisory Committee. The Program Director is advised by the Performance Excellence Executive Advisory Committee in designing and implementing program initiatives.

a. Committee members are appointed by the Deputy Secretary and include a union representative nominated by the Department of Commerce Labor-Management Forum.

b. All Committee members are Department of Commerce employees.

c. The Committee meets quarterly or as determined necessary by the Program Director.

.03 Performance Excellence Council. The Performance Excellence Council facilitates the evolution of the program throughout the Department. Its members participate in the development of program approaches and plans, and lead deployment activities in their respective operating units and offices. The Program Director works with the Council to share information and provide technical assistance on implementing Balanced Scorecards and improvement projects.

a. Members of the Council shall be Department of Commerce employees and designated by the head of each operating unit and Departmental office covered under the scope of this Order and serve as internal performance excellence consultants within their respective organizations. In addition to the member of the Council who is officially designated as the Performance Excellence lead for a bureau, other operating unit representatives may attend to provide input and support the Council’s agenda.

b. The Council meets monthly or as determined necessary by the Program Director.

.04 Operating Units and Departmental Offices. Each operating unit and Departmental office covered under the scope of this Order is responsible for:

a. Developing and implementing an approach to the effective use of the Balanced Scorecard system and a program to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of services through business process redesign and other process improvement techniques;

b. Identifying opportunities for improvement through a self-assessment using the principles of the Baldrige Program;

c. Evaluating the results of process improvement efforts, identifying those that it believes merit recognition by the Secretary, and submitting nominations through the Program Director for consideration by the Secretary; and

d. Reporting quarterly to the Secretary, through the Program Director, on the status of Balanced Scorecard performance measures, improvement efforts and the results that have been obtained.


.01 In accordance with the schedule established by the Performance Excellence Council, operating units and Departmental offices covered by this Order will submit quarterly data on the performance measures in the unit’s Balanced Scorecard.

.02 Quarterly reports on improvement projects shall be submitted to the Program Director by operating units, and Departmental offices covered by this Order. Nominations for Secretarial recognition will be submitted by bureau and office leadership when projects have achieved significant tangible results.

.03 Based on information submitted to and recommendations made by the Program Director, the Secretary will select quality improvement efforts that merit recognition once each quarter.

Signed: Acting Secretary of Commerce

Office of Primary Interest: Office of the Deputy Secretary

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Directives Management program to Directives@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


April 30, 2012