Incomplete GPRA reports irk Congress -

In a House leadership review of Government Performance and Results Act reports, no
agency received more than 62 of a possible 100 points.


In a letter this month to Office of Management and Budget director Franklin Raines,
House Majority leader Richard Armey (R-Texas) called it inexcusable that many agencies had
failed to include all the elements required by the 1993 law.


GPRA directed agencies to file long-term strategy plans detailing mission goals and
performance measurement plans. Information technology use is expected to figure
prominently in the GPRA reports that are due this month.


Armey had a House team review the reports and rank them using numerical ratings.
"The scores illustrate rather starkly how far agencies are from the ideal and how
much work remains to be done," Armey said.


With 62 points, the Social Security Administration received the highest mark of the 24
departments and agencies the team graded. The Labor Department received the lowest grade:
6.5 points. Only the Defense, Education and Health and Human Services departments, and SSA
received the maximum 10 points possible for their mission statements.


Labor's report lacked five of the six elements that GPRA reports require, Armey said. A
prevailing weakness in all the reports was treatment and coordination of cross-cutting
functions, he said.


Making GPRA implementation a priority within agencies has been a recurring item on
Congress' wish list. Several lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Reps.
Steve Horn (R-Calif.) and Constance Morella (R-Md.), have suggested OMB crack down on
agencies' GPRA efforts.


Under the law, agencies must work with OMB in drafting the six-year strategic plans and
annual performance review reports.


Agencies must file the reports with OMB Sept. 30. The law also requires agencies to
consult with House and Senate Appropriations and some oversight committees during the
reports' development.


Armey said he based his scorecard on reports that agencies had filed with the House
Appropriations, Budget, and Government Reform and Oversight committees.


The review team used 10 criteria to rate an agency's GPRA report. Each criterion was
worth 10 points.


The team gave an additional five bonus points to reports that included realistic
performance evaluation measures.


Of the 10 items the congressional team rated, GPRA required the following six:


As a follow-up to the review, Armey joined the Senate leadership and issued 3,000
copies of a 16-page report detailing examples of government waste and agencies' poor GPRA
implementation.


The report, Results Act: It Matters Now, An Interim Report, was sent to all members of
Congress, OMB executives and senior officials at all agencies.


Michele Davis, Armey's communications director, said the House and Senate leaders
decided in July to publish the report after expressing dissatisfaction with previous
agency draft reports on GPRA.


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