More oversight of interagency programs needed

According to a new Government Accountability Office report, interagency programs would benefit from more Congressional oversight. GAO-12-215R Managing for Results: Opportunities for Congress to Address Government Performance Issues suggests ways to improve the effectiveness of interagency programs and reduce duplicative efforts. The report also details the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA), which calls for increased interagency cooperation as a way of achieving meaningful results.

GPRAMA gives Congress the opportunity to become involved in agency performance planning by enhancing requirements for agencies to consult with Congress when establishing or adjusting goals. GPRAMA also allows Congress to provide input on the type of results an agency should seek to achieve, how the agency’s goals are aligned with other related efforts, and how to measure progress. Congress can also address performance issues through a variety of oversight activities, including oversight agendas, hearings, and meetings with agency officials.

The GAO report gives three examples of Congressional oversight that led agencies to improve program outcomes. In one example, the Department of Education consolidated overlapping programs targeting non-English speakers. In another example, the Department of Defense shortened the time it takes for personnel and contractors to receive security clearances from an average of over 300 days to an average of 60 days. In the third example, the IRS increased the amount of taxpayers filing electronically, saving the agency time and money.

For more information about GAO-12-215R or the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, please follow the links below.
GOA-12-215R, Managing for Results: Opportunities for Congress to Address Government Performance Issues
Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010


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