Commentary

10/11/2010 by Dr. Denzil Verardo

Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010

The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRA 2010) passed the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee unanimously on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The bill will now go to the House where this new version will be voted on. The House had passed a version in June, which differed from the Senate version in deployment.

GPRA 2010 calls for each agency of the Federal government to make a strategic plan available on its public website. The plan must contain a comprehensive mission statement covering the major operations of the agency; general goals and objectives, including outcome oriented goals; a description of how the goals and objectives are to be achieved; and an identification of key factors external to the agency that could significantly affect the achievement of the goals and objectives, among others.

The act also calls for the establishment of a balanced set of performance indicators to be used in measuring or assessing progress toward each performance goal, including customer service, efficiency, output, and outcome indicators. The means used to verify and validate measures must be described as well as how the agency will ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data.

GPRA, originally passed by Congress in 1993, has in effect forced state agencies receiving federal funds to measure their performance with those funds and report on a regular basis to the responsible federal agency. GPRA 2010 will effectively require even stronger reporting of state use of federal dollars.

In California, SB 1020 would have mandated similar actions by state agencies as GPRA 2010. While state agencies have been required to develop and report strategic plans annually to the governor’s office since 1995, the proposed state legislation would have increased the requirements for accountability and transparency and in addition would have required measurement of performance results. State agencies would be required to identify and update the mission and goals of the agency; the activities and programs focused on achieving those goals; and the performance metrics that reflect the desired outcomes for existing and proposed activities, among others.

Dr. Denzil Verardo, the former Chief Deputy Director for Administration for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, serves as a Commissioner on the Senate Advisory Commission on Cost Control in State Government.

Categories: Accountability, Governance Reform, Transparency

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