Congressional and Executive Expectations of Program Impacts and Accountability
USDA-Office of the Secretary
Notes from Presentation
Government Performance Results Act, GPRA, passed by Congress in 1993, is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all federal programs by establishing a system of accountability. Every federal agency is going through this process and must be in full compliance by 1999 (?). GPRA has bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate. The purposes of GPRA:
- Improve public confidence in government
- Initiate program performance reform
- Promote results-oriented planning
- Improve service delivery
- Enhance management effectiveness
The GPRA brings us to a new and different level of accountability. It will impact every Extension employee and be a focus point for all new programming. It will change the way we plan and EVALUATION is going to become more and more critical.
Those that plan and execute successful programs (e.g., programs with measurable impact) will continue to get funding.
Timeline. By 09/30/97 each agency of USDA must have a 5 year strategic plan which will include:
a mission statement for the agency general goals, objectives for all major functions summary of resources, systems, and processes critical to achieving the goals description of how goals & objectives will be achieved.
Impacts for performance goals are going to have to be given in 1 year time periods which will be a challenge for many research areas.
REE Program Functions = Basic research; Applied research; Developmental research
The established outcomes for REE are:
An agricultural system that is highly competitive. A safe and secure food/fiber system. A healthy, well-nourished population. Greater harmony between agriculture and the environment. Enhanced economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans.
A pilot performance plan is currently being written for the "safe and secure food/fiber system" outcome. Individuals involved in this outcome will be asked, "Where do you input into this system to realize the output of a safe and secure food/fiber system? In the long term, this system will be more efficient but during the transition period there may well be some overlap and duplication. Eventually this system will erase the need for senseless data-gathering and head-counting.
The development teams for all of these performance teams will be internal (e.g., Extension employees) and will be comprised of both federal and state partners. The performance plans will be reviewed by the newly formed USDA/CSREES Advisory Council.
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