Progress on Agency Priority Goals and Cross Agency Priority Goals are updated on a quarterly basis with a focus on work completed in the prior quarter, work planned for the remainder of the goal period, and the addition of most recent data where available. Progress on each major Federal agency’s strategic objectives in the agency Strategic Plan is updated annually, with agencies providing a brief description of achievements during the last fiscal year, any challenges encountered, and next steps planned to address identified challenges to drive performance improvements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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.
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.
To develop the CAP Goals, OMB and the Performance Improvement Council work with senior policy officials and agencies based on criteria which include: 1) whether a goal has clear cross-agency implementation actions that have been identified, 2) whether setting a CAP Goal would likely accelerate progress, and 3) whether it aligns with Administration priorities. Studies by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are also considered in selecting CAP Goals. In addition, OMB consults with congressional committees as well as considers congressional questions and suggestions as it finalizes the CAP Goals, strengthening the partnership between the Congress and the executive branch that is critical to performance improvement over the long run.
The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 was enacted on January 4, 2011. 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.
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.
Federal agencies have identified 339 congressionally-required plans and reports proposed for congressional modification. This list is based on agency review of original proposals published in 2012 and 2014, several of which have since been repealed, as well as newly identified proposals. It excludes previous proposals already modified by Congress or which Federal agencies have identified as no longer outdated or duplicative.