Managing for Results:

Achieving GPRA's Objectives Requires Strong Congressional Role

T-GGD-96-79: Published: Mar 6, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1996.

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GAO discussed: (1) the Government Performance and Results Act's (GPRA) potential contributions to congressional and executive branch decisionmaking; and (2) Congress' role in implementing GPRA. GAO noted that: (1) more federal agencies are recognizing the benefits of focusing on outcomes rather than activities to improve their programs' efficiency and effectiveness; (2) agencies cannot quickly and easily shift their focus because outcomes can be difficult to define and measure and major changes in services and processes may be required; (3) strong and sustained congressional attention is needed to ensure GPRA success; (4) GPRA provides a mechanism for reassessing agencies' missions and focusing programs while downsizing and increasing efficiency; (5) unclear goals and missions have hampered the targeting of program resources and caused overlaps and duplications; (6) Congress needs to hold periodic comprehensive oversight hearings and to gather information on measuring outcomes and determine how GPRA performance goals and information drive agencies' daily operations, how agencies use performance information to improve their effectiveness, agencies' progress in improving their financial and information systems and staff training and recruitment, and how agencies are aligning their core business processes to support mission-related outcomes.

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