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Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Pub. L. No. 103-62, 107 Stat. 285 (1993).


GPRA was intended to address several broad purposes, including strengthening the confidence of the American people in their government; improving federal program effectiveness, accountability, and service delivery; and enhancing congressional decision making by providing more objective information on program performance. GPRA requires agencies to establish goals and targets to define the level of performance to be achieved by a program and express such goals in an objective, quantifiable, and measurable form. If an agency, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, determines that it is not feasible to express performance goals in an objective, quantifiable, and measurable form, an alternative form may be authorized. This alternative form should include separate descriptive statements of a minimally effective program and a successful program, or an alternative that would allow for an accurate independent determination of whether the program activity's performance meets the criteria of the description; or state why it is infeasible to express a performance goal in any form.[1]
GPRA was enacted to — among other things — improve federal program effectiveness, accountability, and service delivery, in part through requiring performance plans with goals that establish target levels of performance against which achievement can be compared. While the practices called for through GPRA are required at the federal department/agency level, we have previously reported that they can serve as leading practices for planning at lower levels within federal agencies, such as individual programs or initiatives.[2]

The GPRA focuses on program goals and improvements. GPRA (also referred to as the "Results Act") is the foundation for FASA's and ITMRA's refining requirements that link program needs, the budget, and acquisitions.

GPRA requires agencies to submit to OMB and the Congress a five-year strategic plan for delineating performance goals for their program activities. It further requires agencies to report annually to the President and the Congress on program performance for the previous fiscal year, setting forth performance indicators, actual program performance, and a comparison with plan goals for that fiscal year. One of the purposes is to "improve Federal program effectiveness and public accountability by promoting a new focus on results, service quality, and customer satisfaction."

The Act "called for explicit attempts to measure the results of government programs, including research programs. The act therefore added to the pressure for near-term and mission-oriented work."[3]



  • GSA, A Guide to Planning, Acquiring, and Managing Information Technology Systems, at 2-5 (Ver. 1 Dec. 1998) (full-text).