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continue to take the incremental steps necessary to implement GPRA for the country's federal research programs.

Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 each contain specific recommendations for agencies and oversight bodies that are designed to expedite the implementation of GPRA. This chapter offers a brief set of more-general conclusions and recommendations that consolidate the major themes of the preceding text.

4.1 General Conclusions

The panel offers 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.

In promoting greater accountability, the act calls for firmer alignment of research programs with overall strategic planning and for a higher degree of accountability. These agencies report progress on both counts—in strengthening the management of their programs and in enhancing their ability to communicate the value of their programs to the users of research and the public.

However, while some agencies report that they have been

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