Government Performance and Results: An Evaluation of GPRA’s First Decade

1st Edition

Jerry Ellig, Maurice McTigue, Henry Wray

Published September 8, 2011
Reference - 321 Pages - 57 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439844649 - CAT# K11980
Series: ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

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The complexity of governments today makes the accountability desired by citizens difficult to achieve. Written to address performance policies within state and national governments, Government Performance and Results: An Evaluation of GPRA’s First Decade summarizes lessons learned from a 10-year research project that evaluated performance reports produced by federal agencies under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The results of this project can help answer a wide variety of questions in political economy and public administration, such as:

  • What factors make performance reports relevant and informative?
  • Has the quality of information disclosed to the public improved?
  • Why do some agencies produce better reports than others?
  • Has GPRA led to greater availability and use of performance information by federal managers?
  • Has GPRA led to greater use of performance information in budget decisions?
  • What steps would make federal management and budget decisions more performance oriented?

The book documents the current state of the art in federal performance reporting, measures the extent of improvement, compares federal performance reports with those produced by state governments and other nations, and suggests how GPRA has affected management of federal agencies and resource allocation by policymakers. It also identifies obstacles that must be overcome if GPRA is to deliver on the promise of performance budgeting. The authors chronicle the improvements observed in federal performance reporting through the lens of the Mercatus Center’s annual Performance Report Scorecard.

As budget shortfalls and new debt burdens increase interest in public management and budgeting techniques that allow governments to do more with less, this is an appropriate time to take stock of what GPRA has accomplished and what remains to be done. By comparing best performance reporting practices in the US federal government with those in states and other countries, this book speeds the diffusion of useful knowledge at a critical time.


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