budget appropriations.4 Twenty percent of federal programs are being rated each year, beginning with the fiscal year (FY) 2004 budget request.5

A 2004 General Accounting Office (GAO) report found that PART had helped structure OMB’s use of performance information for program analysis and internal review.6 However, budget allocations were not always tied to program ratings. Programs rated as “effective” or “moderately effective” did not always receive increased funding, and programs rated as “ineffective” did not always lose funding. The report also noted that by using PART to influence GPRA measures, OMB is influencing agency program goals, to the detriment of a wide range of stakeholders. It concluded that although PART is useful for program-level budget analysis, it cannot substitute for GPRA’s longer-term, strategic focus on thematic goals. Nevertheless, goals and performance measures relevant to the R&D criteria and PART are being incorporated into future GPRA agency performance plans.7


Office of Management and Budget, 2003, Performance Measurement Challenges and Strategies, 13 pp., <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/part/challenges_strategies.pdf>.


Agency programs relevant to climate change that were evaluated in the FY 2004 budget include Department of Defense (DOD) Basic Research; DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Environmental Management, and Office of Science; U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Climate Change; and National Science Foundation (NSF) Geosciences. In FY 2005, relevant agency programs include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Resources Inventory and Soil Survey; Department of Interior’s (DOI’s) Science and Technology; Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Ecological Research; and National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Biological Sciences Research and Earth Science Applications. See <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/part/program_assessments_planned_2005.html>.


General Accounting Office, 2004, Performance Budgeting: Observations on the Use of OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool for the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget, GAO-04-174, Washington, D.C., 67 pp.


Office of Management and Budget, 2003, Budget procedures memorandum no. 861, Completing the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) for the FY2005 review process, 60 pp., <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/part/bpm861.pdf>.

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