GPRA Has Had Positive Impact on Government Says GAO

GAO says that the GPRA has established a good foundation of results-oriented performance planning.

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) was passed ten years ago. GAO says that its requirements have established a solid foundation of results-oriented performance planning, measurement, and reporting in the federal government.

Federal managers surveyed by GAO reported having significantly more of the types of performance measures called for by GPRA. GPRA has also begun to facilitate the linking of resources to results, although much remains to be done in this area to increase the use of performance information to make decisions about resources.

Although a foundation has been established, the GAO says that significant challenges to implementing the GPRA are still hanging around. Theses challenges include inconsistent commitment by senior management to achieving results within agencies and OMB can can stall the development of results-oriented cultures in agencies. Furthermore, in certain areas, federal managers continue to have difficulty setting outcome-oriented goals, collecting useful data on results, and linking institutional, program, unit, and individual performance measurement and reward systems. Finally, there is an inadequate focus on addressing issues that cut across federal agencies.

GAO recommends that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) improve its guidance and oversight of GPRA implementation, as well as develop a governmentwide performance plan. GAO also believes Congress should consider amending GPRA to require:

(1) agencies update their strategic plans at least once every four years, consult with congressional stakeholders at least once every new Congress, and make interim updates to strategic and performance plans as appropriate; and

(2) the President develop a governmentwide strategic plan.

You can download the entire GAO report from the link on the left hand side of the page.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47