GPRA Talks Slow to Start

letters@govexec.com

Agency consultations with Congress on the Government Performance and Results Act are off to a slow start, the General Accounting Office reported yesterday.

L. Nye Stevens, GAO's director for federal management and workforce issues, told the House subcommittee on management, information and technology that fewer than half the major federal agencies have begun consultations with Congress required under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). GPRA requires agency representatives and Congress to meet and discuss agency mission statements and performance measurements as every agency prepares to submit a long-term strategic plan to Congress by September 30. Stevens said the act does not clearly explain how GPRA consultations should proceed.

"Congressional staff and agency officials said they believed that because of their generally limited experience with such consultations, it will take time for Congress and agencies to develop a base of common experiences from which to build a set of specific best practices for future consultations," Stevens said in his prepared testimony.

Subcommittee chairman Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif., said the House leadership has set up teams of congressional staffers to consult with every department on GPRA. Staffers represent committees with jurisdiction over each agency.

Stevens said congressional staffers and agency representatives categorized their meetings so far as "briefings" and "preliminary consultations." While the participants of most of the meetings told GAO they were useful, two congressional staffers said they received a 1-1/2 hour slide show on the requirements of GPRA instead of a useful discussion of the agency's mission statement and performance goals.

GAO identified three main steps agencies and Congress can take to make GPRA consultations worthwhile:

  • Include high-ranking officials and relevant members of Congress in the consultations.
  • Make sure both groups know what will be discussed at each consultation.
  • Be prepared to meet as many times as both groups feel is necessary to work out disagreements and clarify misunderstandings.
Stevens also said some agencies were slow to start preparing for GPRA consultations because Congress waited until recent months to send signals to the executive branch that it was serious about enforcing the act. Congressional leaders sent a letter to OMB director Franklin Raines two weeks ago that called for agencies to begin consultations "as soon as possible."

Chairman Horn asked Stevens if OMB itself had prepared a strategic plan, and asked him to "remind them we are their oversight committee."

Horn said when OMB representatives come to the Hill he will "give them the royal treatment."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.