USDA Management:

Progress in Meeting GPRA's Requirements

RCED-97-65R: Published: Feb 26, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1997.

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Robert A. Robinson
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GAO provided information on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) progress in meeting the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), focusing on USDA efforts to: (1) develop a departmentwide strategic plan, which includes a mission statement and long-term strategic goals for fiscal years (FY) 1997 through 2002; (2) consult with the Congress in preparing this strategic plan; and (3) establish annual performance plans and goals that describe how it will achieve the objectives in its strategic plan.

GAO noted that: (1) USDA has taken steps toward meeting its September 1997 deadline for completing its strategic plan; (2) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and USDA's Office of the Secretary reviewed and commented on each USDA agency's strategic plan, which were returned to the agencies for revision; (3) USDA anticipates that revisions to the mission and agency-level plans it is preparing will be completed by February 1997; (4) while the draft agency-level plans are being revised, USDA is developing its departmentwide plan; (5) according to USDA, this plan will include an executive summary and the plans of the mission areas and agencies; (6) in keeping with this guidance, USDA expects to send this plan to OMB for review in April 1997; (7) USDA officials have not yet met with members of Congress or their staffs to discuss USDA's progress in addressing GPRA's requirements; (8) USDA plans to contact Congress after its draft departmentwide strategic plan has been reviewed by OMB and the Secretary; (9) according to the USDA official in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer who is responsible for coordinating USDA's GPRA effort, draft agency-level performance goals are being developed in consultation with OMB, and annual performance plans will follow thereafter; and (10) it is anticipated that draft goals will be established by the spring of 1997 and the plans will be developed during the FY 1999 budget preparation cycle.

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