Thompson: Challenges Remain in Pursuit of Results-Oriented Government

WASHINGTON, DC ? Today Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, outlined challenges facing the federal government as it strives to be more results-oriented. Thompson expressed his concern that after almost 10 years since the adoption of the Government Performance and Results Act, the ability of federal agencies to develop performance goals and to measure their performance against these goals has been uneven at best.

In testimony submitted during a House joint subcommittee hearing on linking federal agencies? funding to performance, Thompson outlined three main challenges that must be overcome before agencies? performance information can be utilized in making funding decisions: accurately measuring progress in achieving goals, identifying the effectiveness of overlapping federal programs, and producing reliable performance data.

Senator Thompson and Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) recently asked the GAO to assess agencies? progress in achieving results in a variety of crosscutting programs in fiscal year 2001 including financial institution regulation, public health systems, family poverty, and drug control. The GAO is expected to complete its work on these crosscutting programs this Fall.

“We still have a long way to go in making the federal government more results-oriented and performance-based. However, I am encouraged by the President?s unprecedented interest in, and the Office of Management and Budget?s new focus on, integrating performance review with budget decisions. Using information about program results will allow Congress and the Administration to make better decisions about which programs are effective and which need to be reformed or possibly terminated,” Thompson said.