Deidre A. Lee Statement to House Government Management, Information and Technology, 07/01/1999
DEIDRE A. LEE
ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT,
INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY
July 1, 1999
Mr. Chairman, Congressman Turner, members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to
appear before you today. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA or the Results
Act) established a number of new, major requirements for the Executive branch, with one
overriding objective - to improve performance and get better program results for the taxpayers.
This has been a high priority of this Administration.
The drafters of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, (commonly called GPRA
or the Results Act) outlined several sequential steps for bringing about a better linkage between
resources and results. So I believe it is useful to review both what these drafters envisioned, and
the role that the Results Act would have in bringing about this linkage.
The Senate Committee Report outlines the objectives of performance budgeting. The first
objective is to clearly present what we are getting for the money we are spending. The second
objective is to show how those results change with an increase or decrease in funding. To reach
these objectives, the Committee Report sketches a series of steps. The first step is for a
government-wide performance plan. The government-wide plan is developed from the agency
annual performance plans. The second step is a set of two-year pilot projects which would link
anticipated results to alternative spending levels. The third step is for OMB to report on the
results of these pilots along with a recommendation of whether the entire budget should be cast as
a performance budget.
In reality and in the law, it is a great leap from step one to steps two and three. This was
understood by the drafters of the Results Act, who recognized that the lessons learned from the
pilot projects should not directly lead to further implementation of performance budgeting as
envisioned by the pilots. Indeed, a major thrust of the OMB report would be whether the
performance budgeting is feasible or advisable government-wide.
We began implementing GPRA in earnest across the government in 1997. We are now in our
third year, and, overall, the Federal agencies have made very substantial progress. Over the past
two years, about 100 departments, independent agencies, and government corporations have
prepared their initial strategic plan and two sets of annual performance plans. Within the next 15
months, these agencies will prepare an updated strategic plan, two more sets of annual
performance plans, and their first program performance report. By September 2000, these
agencies will have provided OMB or Congress with approximately 700 GPRA-required plans and
As part of the President's budget, OMB has produced two government-wide performance plans.
The third plan will be sent to Congress next February with the President's FY 2001 budget
Our progress in carrying out the Results Act is substantial and this progress will continue.
Let me turn to the second objective, which is showing how results change with increases and
decreases in funding; and, to the second and third steps, the performance budgeting pilot projects
and the OMB report on these pilot projects, which are related to this objective.
Agency budgets are showing how performance is affected by increases and decreases in funding
levels. The annual performance plans sent to Congress generally show several years of
performance information. For example, OMB is specifying that the FY 2001 performance plans
include actual performance for fiscal year 1999, and performance goals for fiscal years 2000 and
2001, and encouraging agencies to include performance data for fiscal years 1996 through 1998,
if it is relevant and available. The performance plans also provide information on the budgetary
resources associated with the set of performance goals. The display of performance and related
budget information in these plans is complemented, to a substantial degree, by the detail provided
by the agencies in their Congressional justifications. Many justifications highlight the changes
Let me now summarize the specification in GPRA regarding performance budgeting pilots. The
Results Act calls for the Director of OMB, after consultation with the agencies, to designate at
least five departments or agencies as performance budgeting pilots. These pilot projects would
cover a particular agency component or program. At least three of the pilot projects have to be
chosen from the set of performance measurement pilot projects that were conducted during fiscal
years 1994 through 1996. As you may recall, Mr. Chairman, 28 departments and agencies were
designated as performance measurement pilots. These performance measurement pilots
successfully demonstrated that Federal agencies could prepare annual performance plans and
annual program performance reports that met GPRA requirements. The performance budgeting
pilots were to be conducted during fiscal years 1998 and 1999. The law anticipated that the
President's Budget for FY 1999 would include, the performance budgets of the designated pilot
projects. OMB is to send a report to Congress on the performance budgeting pilot projects by
March 31, 2001. This report is to: assess the feasibility and advisability of including a
performance budget as part of the President's budget; describe any difficulties encountered by the
pilot projects; and recommend whether legislation requiring performance budgets should be
proposed, and, if so, the general provisions of that legislation.
Let me add that GPRA requires that the March 2001 report examine government-wide
implementation of GPRA from 1997 through 2000, and provide a picture of what is working well
and identify any areas where change or further improvement is needed.
I have detailed the contents of the 2001 report because it addresses overall GPRA
implementation, including the viability of performance budgeting. The contents of the report also
underscore Congress' clear understanding that further legislation is required before the
government could proceed to preparing these performance budgets.
Let me turn to the current status of the performance budgeting pilots. On May 20, 1997, the then
Director of OMB, Frank Raines wrote to the chair and ranking member of both this Committee
and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, indicating that OMB planned to delay the
start of the performance budgeting pilot projects by one year. Our priority then, as it remains
today, is to bring about the successful implementation of GPRA throughout the Executive branch.
Calendar year 1997 marked the beginning of GPRA implementation. We and the agencies were
devoting nearly all time and effort to ensuring that strategic plans were sent to Congress on time,
and that both the strategic plans and annual performance plans would be useful documents that
met the requirements of the statute.
We have had a series of discussions with the departments and agencies on how we might initiate
During the Fiscal Year 2001 budget formulation process, which is now beginning, we will select
agencies that will prepare as a pilot a performance budget for specific programs or areas. We
will work with the agencies to have them prepare performance budget alternatives for selected
programs or areas. We will analyze these performance budgets to determine alternative levels of
performance and the associated resources aligned with these performance levels. We will report
on the results of the pilots by March 2001, as required.
We believe this approach is consistent with previous GAO recommendations on government
performance and results. We look forward to working with them and the Congress in moving this
Mr. Chairman, the Results Act can bring about a fundamental transformation in how we prepare
our budgets, manage our programs, and become more accountable to the American public for
how we spend their tax dollars. Any great change is not accomplished overnight, but we have
made a good start. From this solid beginning, the path to a true and useful linkage of resources
and performance can be realized in the months ahead, and we intend to work hard to bring about
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I will be happy to answer any questions you may