Bill would require review of federal programs every five years

More than 10 years after Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act, Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) wants to take the requirement a step further.

The chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management yesterday introduced legislation to require the Office of Management and Budget to review agency program purpose, design, strategic plan, management and results at least every five years. The Program Assessment and Results Act, HR 3826, codifies the Bush administration's work over the last two years reviewing 20 percent of all federal programs annually. The bill would be an amendment to GPRA.

'There are challenges identified by the General Accounting Office on how to take the program assessments under GPRA down to another level,' Platts said. 'This will complement GPRA. We want to ensure that programs are reviewed to make sure we are managing them efficiently and effectively.'

The bill does not require OMB to use the White House's Program Assessment Rating Tool.

Platts said he would like to get the bill marked up in his subcommittee in the next few weeks and then through the full committee shortly after that. There is no companion bill in the Senate, but Platts said his staff is working with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairwoman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), chairman of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, to draft similar legislation.

Clay Johnson, OMB deputy director for management, said earlier this month that the administration supports the bill.

Platts' bill also instructs OMB to look at programs with similar functions at the same time, and review high-priority programs more frequently.

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