gg96118 - United States General Accounting Office GAO June...

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United States General Accounting Office GAO Comptroller General of the United States June 1996 Executive Guide Effectively Implementing the Government Performance and Results Act GO A years 1921 - 1996 GAO/GGD-96-118
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Preface In recent years, an understanding has emerged that the federal government needs to be run in a more businesslike manner than in the past. As companies are accountable to shareholders, the federal government is accountable to taxpayers, and taxpayers are demanding as never before that the dollars they invest in their government be managed and spent responsibly. As countless studies by GAO have long noted, federal agencies often fail to appropriately manage their finances, identify clearly what they intend to accomplish, or get the job done effectively and with a minimum of waste. After decades of seeing these problems recur in agency after agency, Congress moved to address this endemic situation on a governmentwide basis. Major statutes now in their first years of implementation hold substantial promise for creating a more accountable and effective federal government. The Chief Financial Officers ( CFO ) Act of 1990 provided for chief financial officer positions in 24 major agencies and required annual reports on the financial condition of government entities and the status of management controls. Under the CFO Act, federal agencies will be subject to the same kinds of financial reporting that have long been required in the private sector and by state and local governments. The Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 requires, among other things, that agencies set goals, measure performance, and report on progress in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations through the use of information technology. And, most fundamentally, under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 ( GPRA ), every major federal agency must now ask itself some basic questions: What is our mission? What are our goals and how will we achieve them? How can we measure our performance? How will we use that information to make improvements? GPRA forces a shift in the focus of federal agencies—away from such traditional concerns as staffing and activity levels and toward a single overriding issue: results. GPRA requires agencies to set goals, measure performance, and report on their accomplishments. This will not be an easy transition, nor will it be quick. And for some agencies, GPRA will be difficult to apply. But GPRA has the potential for adding greatly to government performance—a particularly vital goal at a time when resources are limited and public demands are high. To help GAO/GGD-96-118 Government Performance and Results Act Page 1
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Preface Congress and federal managers put GPRA into effect, we have identified key steps that agencies need to take toward its implementation, along with a set of practices that can help make that implementation a success. We learned of these practices from organizations that successfully have taken initiatives similar to the ones required by the act. Several federal agencies
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gg96118 - United States General Accounting Office GAO June...

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