Primary sponsor Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told the DorobekINSIDER that the bill is designed to move government closer to becoming more results-oriented.
Results-oriented legislation was first passed under the Clinton administration and set the foundation for agency performance measures, Cuellar said.
“In the last 17 years, I think we’ve seen a lot of lessons have been learned and this is why we made some very,very sweeping changes,” he said.
The legislation requires agencies to provide regular updates to Congress and the public. In addition, agencies will assign senior officials to serve as chief operating officers and performance improvement officers with the goals of eliminating duplicate programs.
Cuellar said the act will provide more transparency because agencies will both publish information online about performance goals and give that information directly to Congress.
“The OMB will be involved, the Congress will be involved and there’s also a provision where — and this is for the first itme — that the general public can give input in those goal-setting in what the agencies should be doing,” Cuellar said.
Agencies that fail to meet performance goals will have to submit to the Congressional Budget Office a plan for improvement. An agency or program that continues to fail could face a budget reduction or even elimination, Cuellar said.
“I think that type of stringent enforcement provision will certainly get the attention of the executive agencies as they do the work,” he said.
The current continuing resolution through March 4, 2011, will impact agencies’ ability to meet performance goals. Cuellar said this “variance” will be taken into consideration under the new act.