The Heat is On

amaxwell@govexec.com

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.
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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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