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About EPA

About the Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI)

What We Do

OCI, which is located within the Office of the Administrator, coordinates agency-wide implementation of the EPA Lean Management System (ELMS). ELMS is a system that will enable the agency to track important actions so that we respond and resolve challenges quickly and thoroughly, using Lean principles and tools.  With ELMS, all parts of EPA will :
  • set ambitious and achievable targets for their work,
  • measure their results, and
  • improve their processes to bridge gaps between targets and results.

ELMS uses visual management with regularly updated performance and workflow data to monitor progress toward EPA’s Strategic Plan targets.   The near-term goal of OCI is to deploy ELMS in 80 percent of agency work units by September 30, 2020.

Some ELMS accomplishments to date include:

  • Established over 400 metrics across all EPA program and regional offices that are tracked monthly.
  • Created a standardized method for communicating whether monthly targets are being met, using a red/yellow/green system.
  • Implemented measures specifically designed to improve the time EPA takes to complete many of its core functions, including issuing permits, meeting the agency’s legal deadlines, correcting environmental violations, completing reviews of new active ingredients, and others.
  • Integrated monthly business reviews for all EPA program and regional offices at which the agency’s senior leaders review their office’s performance.
  • Hosted 11 multi-day process improvement events to support rapid progress in the following areas: NPDES Section 402 permits, Underground Injection Control permits, TSCA Premanufacture Notice Final Determinations, Acquisition Quality, Simplified Acquisitions, Clean Air Act State Implementation Plans, Freedom of Information Act requests, Brownfields, Superfund, Clean Air Act Title V, and Clean Air Act New Source Review for Preconstruction.
  • Initiated training for EPA staff and first line supervisors on how to use ELMS at the work unit level. This includes developing a small cadre of ELMS.

Mail code:  1708A |  EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

OCI Organization

Serena McIlwain, Director
  • Phone: 202-564-0998

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