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frames. Although yearly reporting may be appropriate for applied research, a 3-year (or longer) performance schedule for basic research would usually be more suitable and valuable. The schedules should allow agencies to use previous results when preparing performance plans. Agencies should also continue their efforts to integrate GPRA planning and evaluation procedures into current agency processes.

Specifically, the panel suggests that agencies engaged in basic research make 3-year performance plans and set 3-year performance targets for research goals in their performance plans, rather than targets that refer to particular fiscal years. Management goals and short-term objectives in applied-research programs should still refer to a 1-year period. Performance reports should be annual and stress trends and indicators of the direction of basic research and the level of progress and productivity of special initiatives.

3.6 Summary

Communication between agencies and oversight bodies is essential to making the GPRA process work. So far, the communication process has been flawed from the viewpoint of both sides. If agencies are clearer regarding their methodology and oversight groups are clearer and more consistent regarding their expectations, a better and more useful product will result.

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