SOURCE: Serena Software

November 16, 2009 08:02 ET

Federal Agencies Struggling to Meet Transparency Requirements, According to Efficiency and Transparency in Government Processes Study

Serena Software Study Reveals Pressing Need for Better Tools to Quickly Automate, Streamline Existing Processes Within Federal Agencies

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - Serena Software, a leading application developer of lean business process management solutions, today released the results of its "Efficiency and Transparency in Government Processes Study," the first survey to assess the status of government agencies' implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-mandated processes to promote transparency, efficiency and accountability across government.

The study indicates that less than half -- 43% -- of respondents believe their agencies could meet federally-mandated transparency requirements today. Additionally, the study's findings suggest that the federal government itself currently lacks the ability to ensure agencies are in compliance with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded requirements to provide timely and specific spending and performance data and establish internal controls to meet new accountability objectives.

Also popularly known as the "federal stimulus package," ARRA was enacted in February 2009 and mandates that government agencies have in place enhanced processes -- which are often enabled through business process management (BPM) tools -- to quickly report where and how Recovery Act funds are spent. However, agencies can also use these newly-deployed automated and simplified processes to manage and track a host of internally and externally generated requests, ranging from vacation and sick leave applications and approvals to Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.

"BPM tools provide enterprises with new capabilities to more effectively respond to the financial pressures they face. The benefits include improving operational efficiency and increasing the level of innovation," according to an independent August 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. report. "Improvements in operational efficiency can take many forms, but the measurable benefits typically include increased levels of employee productivity and shorter cycle times that are the direct result of process automation."

Additional key findings of the "Efficiency and Transparency in Government Processes Study" include:

-- The distribution and allocation of ARRA funds is progressing slowly.
    -- A majority -- 51% -- of respondents indicated that over 80% of ARRA
       funds have either not been allocated or spent

-- Improving transparency, efficiency and accountability is a major
   priority across government.
    -- 75% of respondents indicated their agency has put a medium to high
       level of importance on reaching transparency goals
    -- 68% of respondents said they believe OMB is placing a high level
       of importance on the ARRA-mandated transparency and accountability

-- Although some internal resources exist, federal agencies cannot quickly
   meet transparency, efficiency and accountability goals without industry
    -- More than half -- 54% -- of respondents said their agency has some
       of the capabilities needed to meet the transparency requirements
    -- Less than half -- 46% -- of respondents indicated that they are in
       the process of implementing a solution to address the new
       transparency requirements
    -- Nearly two-thirds -- 64% -- of respondents said they could benefit
       from tools to automate and track transparency

"The 'Efficiency and Transparency in Government Processes Study' suggests that new reporting requirements, although vital for oversight and auditing, will stretch many, if not most, federal agencies to the limit," said Dave Dantus, director of Serena Software Federal. "Serena Software's suite of lean business process management tools is designed specifically to help agencies simplify reporting and tracking efforts for a range of processes, including IT, personnel and risk management and budget."

In addition to serving as a barometer of progress toward meeting ARRA requirements, the study's results provide insight into how prepared agencies are to comply with efforts to increase transparency and lower the cost of government, as outlined by Vivek Kundra, the federal chief information officer.

Survey Methodology

The study results are based on a survey of more than 200 respondents representing federal civilian and defense agencies as well as industry IT decision makers. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- seven percent.

For more information on Serena Software as well as public sector organizations using Serena Software's Lean BPM solutions, please visit:

About Serena Software, Inc.

Serena is a privately owned company, headquartered in Redwood City, California, with 29 offices in 14 countries. Serena provides software to over 15,000 customers including 96 of the Fortune 100. Serena helps customers lower costs by standardizing and automating development processes across both mainframe and distributed environments. For more information on Serena, visit

Serena is a registered trademark of Serena Software, Inc. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners, and their use is intended for identification purposes only and not in association with or as sponsorship or endorsement by such owners. ©2009 Serena Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Contact Information

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