Agency performance bill falls short in House

Senate-passed measure would have updated law passed in 1993

A bill to improve the tracking of federal agency performance didn’t get enough votes to pass the House.

The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (H.R. 2142) fell short of the two-thirds majority required for approval under the suspension of House rules on Dec. 17. The Senate approved the measure unanimously Dec. 16.


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House Republicans who voted against the most recent version of the legislation said the Senate had stripped the bill of GOP-added provisions. These provisions included an amendment by California Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that would have required agencies and the Office of Management and Budget to consider program-level performance instead of just progress towards meeting agency-wide goals.

“The bill would codify what the [Obama] administration is already doing and wanted to do and remove the accountability provisions that the House of Representatives worked in there in a bipartisan fashion,” said Issa spokesman Frederick Hill about the Senate’s version of the legislation.

Issa, who will chair the oversight committee in the 112th Congress, thinks that more work needs to be done on the legislation by both the House and Senate before it can go to the president, according to Hill.

The Senate-passed legislation would have required federal agencies to set measurable performance goals, improve coordination to avoid duplicative programs and post regular performance updates on a public website.

The bill also called for each agency to designate a chief operating officer and a performance improvement officer to oversee its effort to improve management functions at the agency and across the government.

The House passed its original version of the bill, which  would have been the first significant update of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, in June.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader comments

Wed, Dec 22, 2010 Mike

Looks like Issa and some others desire more 'micro-management' whereas the others just want to pass something in order to show some sort of accomplishment. They need to key on the important issues and let folks do their jobs. Existing inspection/accountability systems should be utilized and then hold existing supervisors/personnel accountable. We don't need to re-invent the wheel and spend a billion dollars just to say it's a new system!

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