OMB requests GPRA Modernization action items by Sept. 12

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The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to meet with it and several congressional committees by September to discuss implementation of key portions of the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (H.R. 2142), which passed in late December 2010.

According to an OMB memo (.pdf) published Aug. 17 and signed by Director Jacob Lew and Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, agency draft submissions are due to OMB Sept. 12 that will designate an agency chief operating officer, performance improvement officer, agency priority goals and a fiscal 2013 budget.

A timeline in the document indicates agencies should have already sought initial feedback from OMB and received "congressional consultation" sometime between July 15 and the Aug. 17 memo.

"OMB anticipates that this will involve ongoing discussions between OMB and agencies through November, including sharing iterative revisions of agency priority goals," write Lew and Zients. "Pre-decisional drafts will not be released outside of the Executive Branch," adds the memo, which indicates finalized plans will be published in February 2012.

"Agency priority goals should represent a subset of an agency's strategic plan that the agency would like to accomplish over the next 24 months. In most cases, agency priority goals should directly contribute to the advancement of at least one strategic goal," advises the memo. "Agencies should choose priority goals that rely predominantly on implementation and do not require significant new legislative authorization or additional funding."

After priority goals are approved and published, they "should only be changed in exceptional circumstances," according to Lew and Zients. "The possibility of missing a target if not sufficient justification for a goal change," it adds.

The law tightens performance reporting criteria and sets quarterly review requirements for agencies. The memo says quarterly performance reviews should be live, in-person or via teleconference, and should not be conducted through written documents.

The law does not take full effect until the submission of the fiscal 2013 budget, on Feb. 6, 2012, but the Office of Management and Budget--which is developing an overall federal government performance plan--and agencies are already making decisions on metrics and performance tracking.

For more:
- see the OMB memo (.pdf)

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