Agencies' GPRA reports vary
- By Diane Frank
- May 04, 2000
The ability of agencies to report on the results of their programs varies
greatly, and members of Congress are afraid that the quality of the reports
links directly to the quality of the programs.
"We will probably see some correlation at the end of the day between the
quality of the reporting and the quality of the people," Sen. Fred Thompson
(R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said Wednesday
at a press conference to release an analysis of 24 agencies' reports. "If
you are not doing a good job, you're likely to not want people to understand
what you're doing."
As required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, more
than 180 federal agencies turned in their first results reports to the Office
of Management and Budget by March 31. The analysis of the quality of the
reports, performed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, shows
a wide range of good and bad reporting.
Some agencies, such as the Transportation Department, included detailed
information on their results-oriented goals and the measures in place to
reach those goals. Others, such as the Energy Department, wrote about activity-related
goals that provided no clear link to results.
GPRA reports are intended to judge the effectiveness of agencies' programs
when it comes to improving service to citizens and overall quality of life
in the United States, but the information in the first-year reports makes
such a judgment difficult, said Maurice McTigue, director of the Public Sector Leadership program at Mercatus.
"Unless the quality of the information coming out is of an acceptable standard,
then it is not possible for you people to do your jobs of determining the
quality of the results," he said.
House and Senate committees are working to provide appropriators with an
analysis of the reported results by the beginning of June so that the information
can be included in fiscal 2001 budget decisions, Thompson said.
"If we don't integrate this into the budget process, it's all meaningless,"