Guide to Terms in Detailed Assessments

Program Code – A number assigned to each program for tracking purposes.

Program Title – The name of the program.

Department Name – The name of the Department or Agency that administers the program, oversees it, or receives funding for it.

Agency/Bureau Name – The name of the organizational unit within the Department or Agency that administers the program, oversees it, or receives funding for it. This field may be blank.

Program Type – For purposes of the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), programs are grouped into seven types: Block/Formula, Credit, Competitive Grants, Direct Federal, Regulatory-based, Research and Development, and Capital Assets and Services Acquisition. A program may be more than one type. Descriptions of the program types are available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Assessment Year – The year of the most recent program assessment. Programs are reassessed when significant changes have been made to improve the rating of the program.

Assessment Rating – The overall rating for the program. The five potential ratings are Effective, Moderately Effective, Adequate, Ineffective, and Results Not Demonstrated. Information on how ratings are determined is available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Section Scores – Program Assessments are comprised of four sections. Each section addresses a different aspect of the program: Program purpose and design, Planning, Management, and Results and accountability. Information on section scores is available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Program Funding Level – The total resources available to the program. The Federal Government's fiscal year is October 1 – September 30.

  • FY 2005 – Actual funding for fiscal year 2005.
  • FY 2006 – The funding level legally available to the program during the current year (fiscal year 2006).
  • FY 2007 – The funding level included in the President's budget request to the US Congress for fiscal year 2007.

Funding Note – Information that helps explain the funding levels. This field may be blank.


Question – A summary form of the question for which the program is being evaluated. Detailed descriptions of the requirements of each question are available at www.omb.gov/part (see "Instructions for Completing the PART").

Explanation – Narrative explaining which requirements of the question the program meets and does not meet, including supporting detail.

Evidence – The source documents for the explanation. (Note: In some cases, hyperlinks have been deactivated because they no longer work.)

Program Performance Measures

Term – The period of time estimated to achieve the goal. Terms are either long term for goals that will be achieved over a period of a few years or annual for goals that relate to a specific year. If a measure is long term, there may not be performance targets for each year.

Type – Measures relate to outputs, outcomes, or efficiency. Information on the different types can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Measure – A description of the unit of analysis that is used to assess a program’s performance. Data are provided on past performance and targets for future performance.

Explanation – Narrative explaining the measure. This might include information about the source of data, the methodology used to arrive at the actuals, and related notes.

Target – The level of performance a program intends to achieve in a given year.

Actual – The level of performance the program achieved in a given year.

Program Follow-Up Actions

Follow-up Action – A step the program is taking to improve performance in response to the assessment. A set of follow-up actions may be referred to as an improvement plan.

Year Begun – The first year the action was initiated.