majority of federal funding for research: National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
As it began its examination of the strategic and performance plans and reports of these agencies, the panel found that, given the preliminary state of change of the agency's approach to GPRA for its research programs and the different organization and methodology of each, the panel could only conduct a “snapshot” of each agency's approach. Further, only general, not agency-specific, conclusions and recommendations were appropriate at this time. After a series of focus groups, a workshop, and numerous other communications with agency representatives and oversight bodies, 1 the panel reached the following 10 conclusions:
Conclusion 1: All five agencies have made a good-faith effort to develop reporting procedures that comply with the requirements of GPRA. Some agencies stated that GPRA compliance has added substantially to the cost of their planning and evaluation activities in the form of staff time and resources. Others report that they have been able to integrate GPRA with their traditional budget and planning processes although at some cost of time and effort.
Conclusion 2: Some agencies are using the GPRA process to improve their operations. These agencies report benefits in strengthening program management and enhancing communication about their programs to the users of research and the general public. The need to do so depends on the goal of that agency and the degree to which there is concern about a given field of research or about new and emerging programs. A few agencies
1Primarily Congress's General Accounting Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget.