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The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010

Posted October 16, 2011 8:48 PM by Brandon Kline

The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, an update to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, has set new standards for delivering a high-performance government. Why should you care? You should care because, as an American, you should expect that your government is effective, efficient, accountable, and consistently striving to be the best stewards possible with your tax dollars. That is exactly what the bi-partisan, GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 has set out to accomplish. A recent article on GovernmentExecutive.com highlights key objectives and details agency obligations under the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.

As outlined in a memo from the Office of Management and Budget, The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 has developed requirements and set standards for federal performance management across agencies. When brought together, the aims of federal performance management are set towards achieving four main objectives.

  • Effective government

    Government practices, programs, and policies that achieve what they set out to accomplish.

  • Efficient and productive government

    As the government determines those practices, programs, and policies that are considered to be effective, it needs to search for the most cost-effective ways to achieve the same outcomes.

  • Open and transparent government

    A government that engages the public through the transparency of goals and measures that highlight what is trying to be accomplished and the progress towards those accomplishments.

  • Fair, equitable, and honest government

    These objectives will encourage and reinforce a government that operates fairly, equitably, and honestly.

  • These four objectives, which are derived from the original GPRA, still serve as the foundation for the 2010 version of the law. However, the 2010 Modernization implements many lessons learned in the nearly 20 years since 1993. It requires a more frequent reporting schedule, aims to increase the use of performance information in the decision-making process, and looks to utilize the latest technologies throughout the government. The legislation has even formalized key roles including Performance Improvement Officers (PIOs) within the federal agencies, as well as an interagency community called the Performance Improvement Council (PIC).

    In accordance with the update, each CFO Act agency is required to develop two-year Agency Priority Goals. They are also tasked with identifying opportunities to eliminate waste and duplicative initiatives. This is part of Vice President Biden's Campaign to Cut Government Waste. They must report performance results regularly, hold quarterly performance reviews and participate in the PIC.

    So, to get back to my original point of why you should care: from a simple, high-level perspective, the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, coupled with the Campaign to Cut Government Waste, will lead to more effective management of government agencies at a reduced cost. Vice President Biden says it is important to "change the attitude of how we do business in Washington. We plan to create the most transparent and efficient federal government in our lifetime."