An Official Website of the United States Government
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FAQ

FAQ


Where can I find information on agency performance - such as agency goals and progress on those goals?

Federal agencies provide information to the public on their goals and objectives in numerous ways. Federal agencies identify long-term goals and objectives in their Strategic Plans; they identify annual performance goals in their Annual Performance Plans updated with the President’s Budget each February. Also, leaders of the 15 Cabinet departments and 9 other large Federal agencies have undertaken a new effort to set a few near-term implementation-focused Agency Priority Goals to achieve within a 24-month time frame. These Agency Priority Goals represent a small number of ambitious, outcome-focused performance goals that hinge on strong execution, rather than additional resources or legislative action.

Federal agencies report progress on their performance goals in their Annual Performance Reports or their Performance and Accountability Reports (PARs) which are updated either in February or November each year, respectively. Agencies post their Annual Performance Reports or PARs, Strategic Plans, and Annual Performance Plans, on their websites. Performance.gov provides a one-stop shop for links to this agency information.

As the next step toward making government performance information more easily understood to the public, Performance.gov also supplies, on a single central website, an integrated view of agency strategic goals, strategic objectives, and detailed information on each Agency Priority Goal.  The site also has information about the Cross-Agency Priority Goals which include government-wide mission and management priorities.The Performance.gov website, as a whole, comprises a Federal performance plan.

What are the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals?

To speed progress on cross-government collaboration and tackle government-wide management challenges affecting most agencies, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) first established a limited number of interim Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals in February 2012 and released a new set of goals in March 2014. CAP Goals are a subset of Presidential priorities, and are complemented by other cross-agency coordination and goal-setting efforts.

How are the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals Selected?

To develop the CAP Goals, OMB and the Performance Improvement Council worked with senior policy officials and agencies based on criteria identified. The criteria include whether a goal has clear cross-agency implementation actions that have been identified, whether setting a CAP Goal would likely accelerate progress, and whether it aligns with Administration priorities. In addition, OMB also reached out to congressional committees to seek feedback on potential CAP Goals. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies were also considered in selecting CAP Goals. OMB considers congressional questions and suggestions as it finalizes the CAP Goals. For example, this year, OMB received a specific suggestion from one congressional committee to include the Federal security clearance reform efforts as a Cross-Agency Priority Goal which is included. Effective partnership between the Legislative and Executive Branch is critical to the success of improving government performance, and we are committed to continuing to improve upon this initial congressional consultation in the coming years.

What is the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 and why is it important?

On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010. The Act modernizes the federal government’s performance management framework, retaining and amplifying some aspects of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) while also addressing some of its weaknesses. The GPRA in 1993 had established strategic planning, performance planning, and reporting as a framework for agencies to communicate progress in achieving their missions. The GPRA Modernization Act established important changes to existing requirements that move toward a more useful approach to performance planning and reporting.

The GPRA Modernization Act serves as a foundation for helping agencies to focus on their highest priorities and creating a culture where data and empirical evidence plays a greater role in policy, budget, and management decisions. The purposes of the GPRA Modernization Act were to:

  • Modernize and refine the requirements established by GPRA in order to produce more frequent, relevant data which can then inform decision makers and agency operations;
  • Codify and strengthen existing resources for performance management, including the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Performance Improvement Officers (PIOs) within the federal agencies and the interagency Performance Improvement Council (PIC);
  • Apply the latest technologies and lessons learned from nearly two decades of GPRA implementation;
  • Lead to more effective management of government agencies at a reduced cost.

Where can I find the Administration's Cross-Agency and Agency Priority Goals released in 2012?

The strategies and progress related to the Cross-Agency and Agency Priority Goals released in 2012 have been archived and are available here. 

In many cases prior goals have been “graduated” to allow leadership to focus on a new set of priorities.  Many of these goals continue to be a priority, and will continue to benefit from the increased attention they have received which has established strong action plans and governance structures.  Progress will continue even though they will no longer be officially designated as Cross-Agency or Agency Priority Goals, and they will be tracked publicly through existing agency Annual Performance Reports and agency websites. 

When is performance information on this website updated?

New goals have been set concurrently with the FY 2015 President’s Budget, and most agency goals have been updated on March 10th, 2014. Information will then be updated on a quarterly basis, including updates to the indicators and milestones for the Cross-Agency and Agency Priority Goals. There are several agencies who have established a modified schedule to accommodate statutory or operational constraints. 

As of the March 10, 2014 update of Performance.gov, the strategic goals, strategic objectives, and Agency Priority Goals for the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were still under development, and will be updated on Performance.gov later this spring. The strategic goals and strategic objectives for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Office of Personnel Management, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration were still under development and will be updated on Performance.gov later this spring.

What congressionally-mandated plans and reports did agencies propose for Congress to consider modifying in response to the GPRA Modernization Act (P.L. 111-352)?

Federal agencies annually produce thousands of congressionally-mandated plans and reports, and some that were once useful can become outdated, duplicative, or less useful over time. Through the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010, Congress required Federal agencies to identify for elimination or modification plans and reports that are outdated or duplicative. In December 2012, agencies initially identified a list of 376 report modification proposals for Congress, several of which have since been repealed. In June 2014, the Administration identified an additional 74 plans and reports for congressional consideration.