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Office of Budget, Planning, and Integration

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Performance Budgeting

The Administration evaluates program performance to "find the funds" to bring to bear on issues of interest to their constituency. The 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires that each federal agency submit a comprehensive strategic plan to the Congress. The Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Plan (PDF) brings all Bureaus together in a single strategic plan that the Department uses to make resource decisions. Performance Budgeting is all about justification of funding needs and accountability for results.

The results of the processes, and their convergence with political priorities, influenced by constituency-driven issues lead to the administration´s decision on how much funding to request for each program in the President's Budget, which then moves on to the Hill and through another set of processes, evaluations, and priorities driven by a different constituency and eventually resulting in an appropriation, often with additional earmarks. These drivers and their influence on the process are illustrated below.

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Managers and policy officials use a variety of performance information to evaluate the effectiveness of Programs and make funding decisions. Program evaluation data (and common sense) are used to increase understanding of a Program's value. The USGS uses performance management to make agency program practices more efficient and effective. An integrated science planning process ensures that the management of programs and funding is handled appropriately and uniformly at local, regional, and national levels. Internal control reviews of programs, financial practices, information security and human resources, as well as administrative reviews, external program evaluations, peer review of science; program performance improvement plans, GPRA performance measures, managerial cost accounting, and employee performance appraisals tied to program performance are all tools that contribute to USGS success. The USGS strives to make our performance data transparent and accessible to both employees and the public. Through our internal and external budget and performance websites as well as OMB’s websites, managerial cost accounting, performance improvement plans, and GPRA performance are made available to all stakeholders. By providing the data to the public, USGS encourages optimum performance and accountability to the taxpayer for our use of Federal funds. Through Activity-Based Costing (ABC) and performance measurement, USGS has collected vast amounts of performance information since 2004. Having used this information to hold managers accountable for their programs, the USGS is poised to build on these practices to implement innovative techniques in support of continuous program improvement. Of particular interest to USGS science program managers are the Relevance, Quality, and Performance criteria for Research and Development Programs, the core of USGS missions.

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Research and Development Criteria

The bureau reviews R&D investments across its disciplines and weighs the value of existing programs against changing needs and priorities. The R&D investment criteria are used to ascertain the value of its R&D programs to rigorously justify new programs and to re-evaluate existing programs for modification, redirection, or termination, in keeping with national priorities and needs. The investment criteria evaluate the relevance, quality, and performance for all R&D programs. The Director prioritizes proposed initiatives on the basis of:

The Director selects from the prioritized initiatives those that can be accommodated within the funding target.

The USGS has always taken the integrity, objectivity and utility of our science seriously by

The USGS regularly conducts internal control reviews on its programs and organizations in accordance with the OMB Circular A–123, Management’s Responsibility for Internal Controls. In 2008 the USGS began using the internal control review process to validate adherence to fundamental science practices to ensure quality of science and to stand behind the Director’s Assurance Statement regarding the USGS programs delivering mission.


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