April 4, 1997


Not long after the passage of the Government Performance and Results Act (Results Act) in September, 1993, a phenomenon began. Federal employees--charged with new responsibilities for customer service satisfaction by the National Performance Review and for strategic planning and performance measurement as one of the 77 GPRA pilot agencies--began to look for assistance.

What erupted was an unprecedented, exploding dialogue of sharing information between Departments and Agencies on a wide scale. An early place of help to staff people came from a series of luncheons started in early 1994 by the Improving Government Performance Panel of the National Academy of Public Administration. The luncheons usually were presentations by selected speakers from the Australian and Canadian governments and from some of the pilot agencies that had done some strategic planning and performance measurement. The University of Southern California Washington Public Affairs Center too initiated a series of seminars and luncheons on GPRA topics for government.

The President appointed several high-level groups such as the President's Management Council, the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency Task Force on Performance Task Force, and the National Partnership Council. The Chief Financial Officers Council, formed as part of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, instituted the GPRA Implementation Committee. Most recently, the Chief Information Officers Council was organized as part of the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996. Of special concern to that Council is the role Information Technology will play in realizing the success of the Results Act in the public's opinion.

In September, 1994 the Office of Personnel Management started a monthly GPRA Interest Group to discuss GPRA requirements (today 350 people are on their roster from 70 agencies with monthly attendance between 40 and 100). Later that Fall the Department of Health and Human Services initiated the Research Roundtable to look at the difficult problem of developing performance measures for Research & Development. Other agencies joined them; the group developed a concept paper on developing performance measures for R & D that a number of agencies have adopted. Today 200 people are on their roster from 42 agencies with monthly attendance between 40 and 50.

New GPRA groups arose that focused on specific functions such as the Inspector General Office, Procurement or Information Technology. Older groups that were organized before the GPRA, such as the Human Resources Development Council and Small Agency Council, included some discussions of the GPRA. Other new GPRA groups formed around processes such as natural resources management, law enforcement, regulatory affairs and credit. A new group is forming for foreign affairs. Some Departments called GPRA groups together formally, most notably the Treasury, Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Defense.

Typically, the format for the function and process oriented staff-level groups is the following:

Go to the Washington, DC area GPRA Calendar.

Carl J. Metzger, Management Systems International, Inc., 600 Water Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. Phone 202-484-7170; fax 202-488-0754; e-mail: NPR Home Page Search the NPR Site NPR Initiatives Site Index Calendar Comments Awards Links Tools Frequently Asked Questions Speeches News Releases Library Navigation Bar For NPR site