The Heat is On

Federal agencies failing to develop acceptable strategic plans required under the Government Performance and Results Act may have their appropriations put on hold until they comply, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said Tuesday.

"This calls for some kind of hammer," said Stevens during a joint Appropriations/Governmental Affairs hearing. "We expect to get some results from this act."

GPRA, also known as the Results Act, is designed to focus agencies' funding on results, rather than just the intentions of programs. It requires agencies to set outcome goals, measure their performance and report on their accomplishments.

By Sept. 30, 1997 all major agencies must submit strategic plans to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress that include mission statements, outcome-based goals and an explanation of how the goals will be achieved. Before the plans are officially submitted, agencies must consult with congressional committees about them.

Some agencies are submitting draft plans that do not meet the standards set forth in the law, congressional leaders said on Tuesday. Still others haven't even submitted draft plans yet.

So far, NASA is the only agency to have submitted what Congress deems an acceptable plan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, General Services Administration and Department of the Interior have submitted "minimally acceptable" plans. The plans of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, and the Agriculture Department are characterized as "poor," while the plans of the Agency for International Development, the Commerce Department and the Justice Department are still being reviewed.

OMB Director Franklin Raines told Senators at the joint hearing that he shared Stevens' concerns, but remained confident that agencies would eventually meet their commitments under the act.

"Our efforts and those of the agencies to meet successfully the requirements of the act are intensifying," Raines said. "I have growing confidence that the initial products of the act will be of significant value."

The hard part for agencies, said Raines, "is pulling a series of statutory mandates into one mission statement. It takes a little bit longer than one would expect."

Stevens is planning a September meeting to discuss agency compliance issues with congressional leaders and OMB.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.


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