The federal government spends 20 percent of what America produces -- more than $2.5 trillion in fiscal 2004. Over the long term, federal spending will claim an ever higher percentage of GDP as an aging population places heavier demands on federal entitlement programs. The Government Accountability Office projects that by 2040, the biggest three entitlement programs plus interest on the national debt could consume as much as 35 percent of GDP. Such trends can only increase the political pressure for change in both entitlement and non-entitlement programs.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University evaluated and ranked the annual performance reports for fiscal year 2004 required by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and submitted by Cabinet departments and other agencies covered under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. As we have for the past five years, the Mercatus Center research team has judged the annual reports (due to Congress and the President by November 15, 2004) based on three criteria: transparency, benefits to the community, and forward-looking leadership.
Our purpose for the Annual Performance Report Scorecard is to encourage continual improvement in the quality of information provided to Congress, the President, and the public regarding the effectiveness of agency activities. As a result, we believe policymakers will make more informed funding and policy decisions. We would like to emphasize that the Mercatus Center is not attempting to judge agency performance; our focus is on promoting transparency, and fullness of disclosure of the year's performance.
If you would like to dowload only a section of the report, instead of the full document at the top of the page, please click on the following pdf links:
Part I: Executive Summary and Rankings
Part II: Introduction and Scoring Standards
Part III: Scoring Summary
Part IV: Agency by Agency Scoring Highlights
Part V: Research Team and Project Design