GAO was asked to examine (1) the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) and agency perspectives on the effects that the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) recommendations are having on agency operations and program results; (2) OMB's leadership in ensuring a complementary relationship between the PART and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA); and (3) steps OMB has taken to involve Congress in the PART process. To do this, we also followed up on issues raised in our January 2004 report on the PART.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|To facilitate an understanding of congressional priorities and concerns, Congress may wish to consider the need for a strategy that includes (1) establishing a vehicle for communicating performance goals and measures for key congressional priorities and concerns; (2) developing a more structured oversight agenda to permit a more coordinated congressional perspective on crosscutting programs and policies; and (3) using such an agenda to inform its authorization, oversight, and appropriations processes.||In response to GAO's work suggesting the need for a more robust Congressional strategy for indicating its performance priorities and using performance information in its deliberations, the House Budget Committee included in the FY 2009 Congressional Budget Resolution a requirement that all committees include recommendations for improved governmental performance in their annual "views and estimates." In response, Committees indeed indicated their performance priorities and have held hearings on these areas.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||1. The Director of OMB should ensure that congressional leadership and key committees are given an opportunity to provide input early in the PART process on the performance issues and program areas they consider to be the most important and in need of review.|
|Office of Management and Budget||2. The Director of OMB should seek input from congressional committees on the performance information they find useful and how that information could best be presented to them.|
|Office of Management and Budget||3. The Director of OMB should target individual programs to be reassessed based on factors such as the relative priorities, costs, and risks associated with clusters of related programs, and in a way that reflects the congressional input described above.|