Senators Carper, Warner Highlight Better Results from Federal Agencies Thanks to Landmark Law

WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Task Force on Government Performance Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) highlighted improved performance practices and taxpayer savings realized due in part to performance management reviews put into place by the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (GPRMA). The results were outlined in the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Managing for Results – Agencies Can Enhance Data-Driven Performance Reviews By Exploring Ways to Involve Relevant Agencies in Achieving Goals, which reviewed agencies’ implementation of GPRMA and identified the impact of the quarterly performance reviews have had on the Department of Energy, Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration. GPRMA, introduced by Sens. Carper, Warner and former Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) in 2010, requires agency leaders to conduct quarterly performance reviews in an effort to improve performance management across the federal government. The annual GAO report released today is also a GPRMA requirement.

In its report, GAO identified nine leading practices that agencies implemented during their performance reviews that have led to better results in performance and dollar savings. Successful practices include having agency leaders and other integral staff attend the quarterly reviews and having agencies analyze performance data. For example, the Department of Treasury credited performance reviews with decision to stop production of $1 coin for circulation, for an estimated $50 million in savings. Furthermore, GAO found that all 24 agencies surveyed are conducting performance reviews at least quarterly and about a third reported holding reviews more frequently.

To continue this progress, GAO recommends that the Office of Management and Budget work with agency leadership to identify and share best practices to help agencies find ways to include relevant external parties during performance reviews to increase the likelihood of achieving agency goals.

“Today, we face unparalleled challenges both at home and abroad that require a knowledgeable and nimble federal government that can respond effectively,” said Chairman Carper. “The American people deserve to know that every dollar they send to Washington is being used to its utmost potential, particularly given the budget situation the federal government currently faces. That’s why this law is so important. I am encouraged that agencies are making progress toward implementing this law and moving toward a management culture that demands results and serves taxpayers well. I continue to urge agencies to work together and with Office of Management and Budget to identify best practices so that all agencies can do more of what has proved effective and end practices that lead to waste and inefficiency.”

“A few years ago stacks of performance information was collecting dust across the government and today’s GAO report confirms an important shift in the way our government works. We have moved from collecting performance data to actually using it,” said Senator Mark R. Warner. “I’m glad to see that agencies are using this data to increase efficiency and find savings, and I hope, over time, cross-agency performance reviews will become common to break down government silos and duplicative efforts.”

In 2010, Senators Carper, Warner, and Akaka introduced bipartisan legislation that aimed to make government work better by requiring the federal government to set clear goals that can be measured and reported to Congress and the American people in a more transparent way. The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (GPRMA) requires government agencies to identify overlapping federal programs and increase efforts to identify potential taxpayer savings. The bill passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama in December 2010.