Gearing up for GPRA

For the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "New OSHA" reinvention activities couldn't have come at a better time. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which requires agencies to measure yearly progress toward set goals, was signed into law in 1993. That same year, former OSHA Administrator Joseph Dear took over the agency and began laying the groundwork for results-oriented reinvention reforms.

Though Dear wasn't thinking of GPRA when he started his reinvention effort, the two are based on similar concepts, notes David Zeigler, chief of OSHA's Directorate of Administrative Programs. "GPRA forces you to sit down, look at your whole strategy mission [and] your vision for the agency," he says. Then agencies must decide how best to measure whether they are fulfilling their objectives.

The new OSHA takes the same approach. In the past, OSHA relied on output counts, such as the total number of inspections conducted in a year, as primary performance measures. Now the agency is trying to gauge actual impact on safety and health rates by collecting and studying relevant data. OSHA's mission, after all, is to reduce accident rates.

"We see [inspection numbers] as very important indicators but they are not outcomes," Zeigler says. OSHA plans to use injury and illness data reported by employers directly to the agency, as well as information collected in the annual Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of workplace injuries and illnesses, to help evaluate the impact of inspections and other interventions.

Under GPRA, agencies must prepare a six-year strategic plan, annual performance plans and annual progress reports, beginning with fiscal year 1999. Strategic plans are due in September. "The strategic plan is really supposed to be a big picture kind of document," Zeigler says, adding that the annual performance plans will fill in details.

Zeigler wouldn't discuss specifics of OSHA's strategic plan, but said it would reflect major agency activities such as setting standards, enforcement, collecting statistics and technical support. To help design the plan , OSHA is drawing upon the results of its 1995 "priority planning process," in which stakeholders helped OSHA identify five issues for priority regulatory action and 13 for nonregulatory attention. OSHA also is discussing the evolving plan with stakeholders, as required by law.

As a GPRA pilot agency during fiscal years 1994 to 1996, OSHA had a chance to experiment with planning and evaluation methods. "The pilot years have educated us about what it's all about," Zeigler notes. "We don't have it perfected. . . . [But] we understand what we have to do."

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.

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • 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.

    View
  • 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.

    View

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