May 20, 2004The decade-old Government Performance and Results Act could be amended to include a requirement for program reviews, under legislation approved Wednesday by a House Government Reform subcommittee.
The Efficiency and Financial Management Subcommittee approved the measure (H.R. 3826) -- sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman Todd Platts of Pennsylvania -- on a voice vote.
GPRA "has laid a solid foundation for agencies working with Congress to set strategic goals and being able to utilize performance-based information," said Platts, who added that a recent General Accounting Office report however indicated program evaluation is ar area in which federal agencies "consistently come up short."
Platt's bill would amend GPRA with a provision requiring every program to be assessed at least once every five years.
"By requiring [the Office of Management and Budget] to be responsible for overseeing program assessment data, we will take a great step forward in realizing the reform envisioned by GPRA and make the federal government more efficient and results-oriented," Platts said.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Edolphus Towns of New York, however, said he is "extremely skeptical that this legislation is going to have any effect." Towns said attempts at performance-based budgeting over the past 10 years have had only a minimal positive impact on government performance.
According to the subcommittee, the legislation:
Towns offered an amendment requiring OMB to provide public notice at the start of each new fiscal year of which program to be assessed that year. After receiving public comments on the programs, OMB would have to publish performance goals, assessment criteria, and a summary of public comments for each program it plans to assess that year. The subcommittee approved Towns' amendment by voice vote.
May 20, 2004