GPRA Via Satellite

Vice President Al Gore, key congressmen and several top executive branch officials appeared yesterday in a special satellite broadcast to urge federal managers and employees to help their agencies develop strategic plans and performance measures.

But while they were able to explain the broad requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which requires agencies to submit strategic plans to Congress this year, the officials were unable to specify if the act will change how managers are held accountable for their programs and how day-to-day operations will be affected.

NASA Deputy Administrator Gen. John Dailey, whose agency has already completed the third draft of its strategic plan, said NASA's accountability program has not been satisfactory.

NASA identified accountability "as a major deficiency," Dailey said.

GPRA will tie performance measures to appropriations by requiring agencies to begin submitting performance plans and evaluations during the budget process each year, beginning in fiscal 1999. The act requires agencies to submit their first strategic plans to Congress with their budget plans by Sept. 30.

Vice President Al Gore appeared in the broadcast yesterday in an effort to show the administration's commitment to implementing GPRA.

"Let there be no mistake," Gore said. "This is not about complying for compliance's sake. This is about complying for better management."

House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, and Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, also appeared in taped addresses to federal employees. Both praised the work civil servants do and said they recognized that requiring every agency to develop strategic plans and performance measures would place additional burdens on an already taxed federal workforce.

In addition to the taped addresses of Gore, Glenn and Armey, the broadcast included a video on how NASA developed and implemented its strategic plan, followed by a question and answer session with NASA's Dailey, John Koskinen, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, and representatives of the National Park Service, the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Federal workers phoned and faxed in questions, citing concerns that many of their functions, like policy and research, create results that are difficult to quantify and measure.

When questions turned to how managers would be rewarded or punished for the results of their departments, the panelists were unable to provide a clear response. They were also unable to say how the act would affect workers far down agencies' chains of command.

The satellite broadcast was watched by federal managers and employees in offices and special gatherings around the world. The Office of Personnel Management, which organized the broadcast, said people watched or taped the program at locations throughout the United States and as far away as Australia and the Panama Canal Zone. The broadcast was even downlinked on ships of the Atlantic Fleet.

A tape of the broadcast can be ordered for $15.00 by calling (703) 620-6000.

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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