Number: 111- 70R
Date: January 14, 2011

The President Signs H.R. 2142,
“GPRA Modernization Act of 2010”

On January 4, 2011, the President signed H.R. 2142, the “GPRA Modernization Act of 2010”1 , which became Public Law 111-352.  The new law requires Federal agencies to set clear performance goals that they can accurately measure and publicly report in a more transparent way.

Following are provisions of interest to SSA.

Section 2: Agency Strategic Plans

  • Changes the date that an agency will be required to make its agency strategic plan available on its public website to the first Monday in February of the year following the year that the term of the President begins.
  • Changes agency strategic plan period of coverage from “not less than 5 years” to “not less than 4 years.”

  • Requires, among other things, agency strategic plans to describe how agency performance goals and objectives will incorporate views and suggestions obtained through congressional consultations.  The plans will also describe how performance goals, including agency priority goals, will contribute to agency strategic plan goals.  Section 14 requires making an Agency’s strategic plan consistent with the new requirements no later than February 6, 2012.

Section 3: Federal Government and Agency Performance Plans

  • Requires OMB to coordinate with Federal agencies to establish a Federal Government performance plan to submit with each budget of the United States Government.
  • Requires each agency, not later than the first Monday in February of each year, to make available on its public website a performance plan that will:

    • establish performance goals, and express such goals in an objective, proven, and measurable form;

    • describe how the performance goals contribute to the general goals and objectives established in the agency’s strategic plan, and the Federal Government performance plan;

    • identify among the performance goals those that are designated as agency priority goals;

    • provide a description of how the performance goals are to be achieved;

    • establish performance indicators to be used in measuring or assessing progress toward each performance goal, and a basis for comparing results with goals while ensuring accuracy and reliability of data;

    • describe major management challenges facing the agency; and,

    • identify low-priority program activities based on analysis of contribution to agency mission and goals and include an evidence-based justification for designating a program activity as low priority.

Section 4: Performance Reporting Amendments

  • Requires each agency to make available, on its public website and to OMB, an update on agency performance.  Each update will, in addition to requirements under present law: compare actual performance achieved with the performance goals established in the agency performance plan; review the success of achieving the performance goals and include actual results for the 5 preceding fiscal years; and, describe how the agency ensures the accuracy and reliability of the data used to measure progress towards its performance goals.
  • Requires each agency to make performance reporting updates beginning in fiscal year 2012 under Section 14.

Section 5: Federal Government and Agency Priority Goals

  • Requires, every two years, that each agency identify priority goals from among its performance goals.  The agency priority goals will reflect the highest priorities of the agency and requires: ambitious targets that can be achieved within a 2-year period; interim quarterly targets if more frequent updates of actual performance provide significant value; and, clearly defined quarterly milestones.

Unless otherwise noted, Section 14 requires each agency to incorporate Sections 3, 4, and 5 in agency plans and reports beginning with fiscal year 2013.

Section 6: Progress Reviews and Use Of Performance Information.

  • Not less than quarterly, each agency must:

    • Review progress achieved for each agency priority goal;

    • Assess whether relevant organizations, program activities, regulations, policies, and other activities are contributing as planned to the agency priority goals; and,

    • Categorize agency priority goals by risk of not achieving the planned level of performance, and identify improvement strategies for those goals at greatest risk of not meeting planned performance levels.

Section 7: Transparency of Programs, Goals, and Results

  • Requires each agency to provide to OMB a detailed description of each agency priority goal including strategies for performance improvement. 

Section 8: Agency Chief Operating Officers

  • Establishes a Chief Operating Officer (COO) in each agency who will be responsible for improving agency management and performance.

Section 9: Agency Performance Improvement Officers

  • Establishes a Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) in each agency to advise and assist the agency head and the COO to ensure that agency mission and goals are achieved.

Section 10: Performance Plan and Report Format

  • Starting fiscal year 2012, prohibits an agency from incurring expenses relating to printing strategic plans and performance plans and reports, except when providing such documents to Congress. 
  • Requires each agency to produce such plans and reports in searchable, machine-readable formats, and make them available on its public website.

Section 11: Reducing Duplicative and Outdated Agency Reports

  • Requires the COO to provide annually to OMB information concerning outdated or duplicative plans and reports. 

Unless otherwise specified, provisions of the law are effective upon enactment.




1 GPRA refers to the Government Performance and Results Act.  P.L. 111-352 uses the acronym itself in the title.