Appendix B
House Science Committee Letter

Dr. Bruce Alberts

President

National Academy of Sciences

2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D. C. 20418

Dear Dr. Alberts:

As you may know, the House Committee on Science is actively involved in the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (Results Act). The Act requires federal agencies to develop and provide to Congress three basic reports: overseeing five-year strategic plans due this September; annual performance plans to be presented by the Office of Management and Budget next February; and annual performance reports due each year.

The Results Act has the potential to provide information necessary to strengthen program management and improve program performance. This is a challenge for all agencies and in particular those conducting research. At a July 30 hearing before the House Committee on Science, several science-related agencies testified about their efforts to implement the requirements of the Act. It became clear from this hearing that the agencies need to work harder at improving interagency coordination and identifying areas where programs overlap. In the world of research, overlap can be productive and beneficial or it can be duplicative and wasteful—that is why the agencies must coordinate.

We were pleased to learn of your interest in performing a study to assist with the implementation of the Results Act. We endorse a study that would review how science-related agencies may better incorporate their fundamental research activities into strategic plans and performance plans to improve the management and effectiveness of their science programs. Specifically, we would be interested in a cross-agency comparison of similar types of research.

Of particular interest to us is the development of a thorough interagency coordination process; common outcome-oriented analytic paradigm(s) that could be used across agencies for assessing the results of extramural and intramural fundamental research programs and training and education of the scientific and engineering workforce; and any principles that might assist us in our review of the agencies' performance plans as they relate to research.



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--> Appendix B House Science Committee Letter Dr. Bruce Alberts President National Academy of Sciences 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D. C. 20418 Dear Dr. Alberts: As you may know, the House Committee on Science is actively involved in the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (Results Act). The Act requires federal agencies to develop and provide to Congress three basic reports: overseeing five-year strategic plans due this September; annual performance plans to be presented by the Office of Management and Budget next February; and annual performance reports due each year. The Results Act has the potential to provide information necessary to strengthen program management and improve program performance. This is a challenge for all agencies and in particular those conducting research. At a July 30 hearing before the House Committee on Science, several science-related agencies testified about their efforts to implement the requirements of the Act. It became clear from this hearing that the agencies need to work harder at improving interagency coordination and identifying areas where programs overlap. In the world of research, overlap can be productive and beneficial or it can be duplicative and wasteful—that is why the agencies must coordinate. We were pleased to learn of your interest in performing a study to assist with the implementation of the Results Act. We endorse a study that would review how science-related agencies may better incorporate their fundamental research activities into strategic plans and performance plans to improve the management and effectiveness of their science programs. Specifically, we would be interested in a cross-agency comparison of similar types of research. Of particular interest to us is the development of a thorough interagency coordination process; common outcome-oriented analytic paradigm(s) that could be used across agencies for assessing the results of extramural and intramural fundamental research programs and training and education of the scientific and engineering workforce; and any principles that might assist us in our review of the agencies' performance plans as they relate to research.

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--> Another area for study would be the agencies implementation of their performance plans, including how they relate to their strategic goals and missions, focusing on the impact of the Results Act on agency programmatic decisions and on the practice of research, the lessons learned from that implementation, and identification of best practices that could be used by other agencies or programs In conducting the study, we hope you take the opportunity to hear from the various stakeholders in the process and work with the research agencies. The Committee looks forward to reviewing the results of this effort. If you have any questions please contact Beth Sokul of the Majority Staff (225-0585) or Dan Pearson of the Minority Staff (225-4494). Sincerely,