U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation to make government work better by requiring every federal agency to set clear performance goals that can be accurately measured and publicly reported to Congress and taxpayers in a more transparent way. The Carper-Warner-Akaka legislation also establishes a clear framework to identify overlapping federal programs and requires more focused efforts to identify potential taxpayer savings. This legislation, the first significant update of The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, is co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and George Voinovich (R-OH).
"The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA) will encourage federal agencies to put away the stacks of reports that no one reads and actually start to think how we can improve the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of our government," said Senator Carper, chair of the Senate Subcommittee which oversees Federal Financial Management. "While the strength of our democracy rests on the ability of our government to effectively serve the people, we in Congress have a responsibility to be judicious stewards of the resources taxpayers invest in America, and ensure those resources are managed honestly, transparently and effectively. I thank my colleagues for sponsoring the legislation, particularly Senator Warner for his tremendous work in this area. The 'Task Force on Government Performance' which he established as a member of the Senate Budget Committee has been an invaluable partner in this effort."
"It's time to move beyond the debate over 'big' versus 'smaller' government to focus instead on real action we can take now to provide a much more efficient and effective government," Senator Warner said. "This proposal will require federal agencies to set clear goals, measure their results and publicly report on their findings. Our citizens - our customers -- deserve to have regular reports about how their government is performing."
"Congress has a responsibility to make sure federal agencies use taxpayer dollars wisely while carrying out their critical missions," said Senator Akaka, chairman of the subcommittee which oversees government management. "Our bipartisan proposal accomplishes this by building upon the original Results Act, strengthening agency strategic planning and goal-setting, and supporting the Administration's efforts to adopt a more strategic approach to overseeing performance."
"In updating this 1993 law, my colleagues and I hope to refocus agencies' efforts away from just producing performance measures and towards obtaining real results from those measurements," said Senator Lieberman. "In providing the tools to determine which programs work and which don't, this legislation will help agencies achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability. A results-driven government that makes the best use of taxpayer dollars is an especially important goal in tough economic times."
"The Government Performance and Results Act established a firm foundation for government performance and accountability. Implementation of the law over the past 17 years, however, has proven that additional upgrades are necessary to help improve more effective oversight of taxpayer dollars," said Senator Susan Collins. "The changes being considered will bolster both the spirit and the strength of the law by requiring government-wide strategic planning, transparency, and measurable goals. The ultimate winner here is the American taxpayer."
"In these economic times, we need to challenge agencies to work harder and smarter and do more with less. This bill delivers the tools agencies need to spend less time writing redundant reports and more time developing and implementing performance goals," said Senator Voinovich, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia. "The reforms in this bill, including the designation of Performance Improvement Officers and the Performance Improvement Council, will ensure that agencies are focused on fulfilling their missions and delivering value for taxpayers."
The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA) requires each agency to designate a Chief Operating Officer and a Performance Improvement Officer, with the primary responsibility for pursuing cost-savings through the improved analysis and coordination of duplicative programs. These officials also would be held responsible for considering taxpayer savings through better coordination of administrative functions common to every agency, including purchasing.
The Carper-Warner-Akaka legislation requires federal agencies to post performance data on a single public website on a quarterly, rather than a yearly, schedule. It also sets an ambitious first-year goal of an overall 10-percent reduction in the cumulative number of little-used or outdated reports mandated by previous Administrations and Congresses.