May 13, 2008

9th Annual Performance Report Scorecard - FY 2007

  • Henry Wray

    Mercatus Center Visiting Fellow, Government Accountability Project
  • Jerry Ellig

    Research Professor, George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
  • Maurice P. McTigue

    Vice President, Outreach
Key materials
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Summary

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2008. Enacted in 1993, GPRA directs agencies to define outcomes they seek to produce, identify measures that show whether they are making progress on these outcomes, and disclose the results to Congress and the public. This Scorecard ranks the quality of disclosure of the reports of the 24 agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers Act. We used the same criteria as in previous years.

New for fiscal 2007 was the option for agencies to participate in a "pilot" program, allowing them to publish their performance reports in a different format than previous years. Nine agencies took part in the pilot this year, publishing detailed performance information in their congressional budget justifications, producing a separate financial report, and producing a "highlights" document intended to summarize both performance and financial results. For the purposes of the Scorecard, our research team reviewed primarily the highlights document, referring to the other sources when clearly referenced within the highlights document.

Key findings include:

  • Average total score fell for the first time in five years.
  • The principle benefit for the public of the pilot format that is currently evident is its emphasis on the highlights document. In general, the pilot reduced the quality of disclosure to the public.
  • Good strategic planning is a crucial input into good performance reporting, because strategic planning establishes the goals and measures to be reported on.

If you would like to download only a section of the report, instead of full document at the top of the page, please click on one of the following links.

Part I: Executive Summary and Rankings
Part II: Introduction and Scoring Standards
Part III: Scoring Summary
Part IV: Evaluating the Pilot 
Part V: Criteria Highlights
Part VI: Reporting and Results 
Part VII: Agency by Agency Scoring Highlights
Part VIII: Research Team and Project Design 

Related Documents:

Dr. Jerry Ellig's Presentation (Powerpoint from the release event)