The Role of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Today

The Role of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Today




The Role of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Today

The main aim of passing the Government Performance and Results Act in 1993 was to improve performance and effectiveness of programs under the federal government. The act aimed at ensuring that the federal agencies were accountable for their results and this would help to increase confidence in the government. It would also help managers in the different sectors to improve their service delivery and performance. The act required that all agencies within the federal government develop five-year strategic plans and annual performance plans. In addition, the agencies have to report on what they have accomplished, based on the plans that they had developed earlier (Callahan, 2006). The act remains relevant today. However, changes were made in 2011 after the GPRA Modernization Act became law.

The new modernization act has changed some specifications from GPRA. For instance, it has reduced the strategic plan to four years and made it specific to agencies. The change in period is meant to coincide with the beginning of presidential time as well as of budget proposals (Brass, 2012). The new law considers the influence that technology has on people and it requires that agencies post their strategic plans on the website. This increases accountability and transparency since every person can access the information and hold the agencies responsible. The act functions to inform all concerned of the agencies purpose for existent by detailing their goals and objectives.

The act functions to ensure that agencies are able to achieve what they have set out to accomplish. The performance plans has indicators that measure the progress towards the achievement of performance goals. Such indicators can include outcomes, efficiency, or outputs, depending on the agency. The act enables the management to identify the challenges faced and to find ways of solving them. The new act has increased accountability by identifying the individual officials who are responsible for the achievement of the identified goals (Moynihan, 2012).

The act ensures that agencies are able to identify their priorities, which are reviewed quarterly. This enables the agencies to rate the priorities from the highest to the lowest and to utilize the resources they have in a better and more effective way. They have to indicate their reasons for the rating priorities. Consequently, this ensures the use of data and information when allocating resources and when making decisions concerning management and policy. The new modernization act differs from the old in that the data acquired is more frequent and recent and this makes it relevant (Brass, 2012).

The act ensures that the management of the government is more effective and it reduces its costs of operations. This is enhanced by emphasizing individual and organizational responsibility and accountability. The setting of goals and priorities ensure that funds and resources are directed towards what has already been established for the identified period. Therefore, agencies have to be aware of their needs and future expectations. The idea of federal agencies consulting with congress and with external stakeholders enhances effectiveness and efficiency. The act is a way of making sure that the federal agencies and the executive branch enhance their performance by emphasizing cross-agency collaboration. In many cases, agencies work more effectively if they collaborate. The act ensures that there is greater coordination among the many agencies. The agencies are able to deal with the many diverse challenges such as the complexities in policy formulation (ACUS, 2013).



ACUS. (2013). GPRA modernization act of 2010: Examining constraints to, and providing tools for, cross-agency collaboration. Administrative Conference of the United States. Retrieved from

Brass, T. C. (2012). Changes to the government performance and results act (GPRA): Overview of the new framework of products and processes. Retrieved from

Callahan, K. (2006). Elements of effective governance: Measurement, accountability and participation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press

Moynihan, D. (2012). Creating a performance-driven federal government. Retrieved from

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