GPRA Via Satellite

letters@govexec.com

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.
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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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