The new federal performance system

New from Don Moynihan:

In this report, Professor Moynihan describes the evolution of the federal performance management system over the past 20 years since the passage of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). He reports recent progress in achieving meaningful performance results within targeted pro­grams and describes anticipated future changes over the next few years as a result of the new requirements of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, which significantly amended the earlier law.

The report grew out of a December 2012 forum on the future of the federal performance management system, which was jointly sponsored by the IBM Center for The Business of Government and the National Academy of Public Administration. Participants represented a wide range of stakeholders and perspectives in the system, including key staff members from the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and federal agencies. Participants discussed their perspectives and insights on key components of the Modernization Act, including strategic plan­ning, program management, program evaluation, financial and performance reporting, and budgeting.

A significant challenge uncovered by forum participants was the need to ensure that the many procedural requirements in the new law do not overwhelm federal agencies in such a way that agency leaders focus on compliance rather than on improving performance.

In response to these challenges and related research conducted by Dr. Moynihan and others, the report offers six recommenda­tions that emphasize actions that can be taken to ensure that the new system improves performance as agencies implement the requirements of the new law.