WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed landmark, bipartisan legislation to make government work better by requiring the federal government to set clear goals that can be measured and reported to Congress and the American people in a more transparent way. The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (S.3853) recently introduced by U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI), passed the Senate as part of H.R. 2142. The bill calls on agencies to identify overlapping federal programs and requires more focused efforts to identify potential taxpayer savings. This legislation, the first significant update of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 in nearly two decades, is co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and George Voinovich (R-OH). The bill now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.
“There couldn’t be a better time for a bill like the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act to receive the President’s signature. I’d like to thank my colleagues in the House for recognizing the importance of this bipartisan bill,” said Sen. Carper, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. “As I’ve said many times before, ‘If it’s not perfect, make it better,’ and I think this bill will go a long way in improving the results and transparency of the federal government’s work for the American people.. Given our mind boggling federal deficit, the American people deserve to know that every dollar they send to Washington is being used wisely.”
“At a time of budget deficits and crippling national debt, the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act takes several significant steps to make the federal government work smarter and look for ways to save taxpayer money,” said Sen. Warner, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee’s Task Force on Government Performance. “This legislation also takes a first step in supporting a key recommendation from the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to increase reporting on government-wide cross-cutting priorities, require agencies to identify low priorities and provide new data to identify duplicative federal programs.”
“Congress has a responsibility to make sure that federal agencies use taxpayer dollars wisely while carrying out their critical missions,” said Sen. Akaka, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management. “As an original cosponsor of GPRA, I believe the time has come to refine and enhance this landmark bill. This legislation will strengthen GPRA to require that the federal government adopt a more strategic and collaborative approach towards improving agency performance, and I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for supporting it.”
“We in government are obligated to assure the taxpayers that their government is being managed as efficiently as it can be and achieving its goals,” said Sen. Lieberman. “This is even more critical in times of economic distress and vast budget deficits. The reforms contained in this bill will help federal agencies plan, measure, and report their outcomes, and thus the legislation goes to the heart of improving agency performance and holding agencies accountable for attaining measurable results. I want to thank Congressman Cuellar for championing this legislation in the House and I look forward to seeing the President sign it into law.”
“Improving the effectiveness of government programs must always be a priority,” said Sen. Collins. “But the importance of this issue is particularly relevant when our economy is struggling and the government must tighten its fiscal belt. Taking a page from the private sector, our bill requires agencies to appoint a chief operating officer to manage the development and effectiveness of government programs. This legislation would increase the transparency of government priorities, goals, and plans, and help ensure that these strategic efforts are not a feckless paperwork exercise but meaningful tools to promote efficiency and effectiveness in day-to-day operations.”
“In these economic times, we need to challenge agencies to work harder and smarter and do more with less. This bill delivers the tools agencies need to spend less time writing redundant reports and more time developing and implementing performance goals,” said Sen. Voinovich, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. “The reforms in this bill, including the designation of performance improvement officers and the Performance Improvement Council, will ensure that agencies are focused on fulfilling their missions and delivering value for taxpayers.”
The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA) requires the federal government to set government-wide goals and to align programs from different agencies to work together to reduce overlap and duplication. Each agency will be required designate a Chief Operating Officer and a Performance Improvement Officer, with the primary responsibility for pursuing cost-savings through the improved coordination of duplicative programs. These officials also would be held responsible for considering taxpayer savings through better coordination of administrative functions common to every agency, including purchasing.
The legislation requires federal agencies to post performance data on a single public website on a quarterly, rather than a yearly, schedule. It also sets an ambitious first-year goal of an overall 10-percent reduction in the total number of little-used or outdated reports mandated by previous Administrations and Congresses.