Audit of Department of Justice's Key Indicators

Audit Report 08-18
March 2008
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix II
Laws and Regulations

Government Performance Results Act of 1993

GPRA requires agencies to develop a 5-year Strategic Plan, which should be updated at least every 3 years. GPRA also states that the Strategic Plan must include: (1) a mission statement, (2) general goals and objectives, (3) a description of how the goals and objectives will be achieved, and (4) a description of how the performance goals relate to the general goals and objectives. GPRA requires annual performance plans that:

GPRA requires annual performance reports on program performance for the previous fiscal year. The performance report compares actual performance achieved to the performance goals set in the performance plan. In addition, the report reviews successes in achieving performance goals and analyzes the reasons performance goals were not met. Finally, the report must include plans for achieving the performance goals that were not met.

The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000

The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 encourages the consolidation of financial and performance reports, in order to present information in a useful format for Congress, the President, and the public. Through consolidation, information can be shared efficiently and presented clearly.

OMB Circular A-11

OMB Circular A-11, Section 230, Preparing and Submitting the Performance Portion of the Performance and Accountability Report, 2005, provides guidance on the preparation of the PAR, the contents of the PAR, and the submission of the PAR to the President and Congress. OMB Circular A-11 states, “The annual performance report required by GPRA provides information on your agency's actual performance and progress in achieving the goals in your strategic plan and performance budget.”

Specifically, OMB Circular A-11 requires that the following be included in the PAR:

In order to be complete, performance data must address all key indicators in the performance plan and include any available performance data. In the absence of actual data, preliminary data or estimates may be provided. For key indicators that have no data available, the report should note when the data will be available.

OMB Circular A-11 states:

Performance data need not be perfect to be reliable, particularly if the cost and effort to secure the best performance data possible will exceed the value of any data so obtained. Agencies must discuss in their assessments of the completeness and reliability of the performance data any limitations on the reliability of the data. Additionally, agencies should discuss in their PARs efforts underway to improve the completeness and reliability of future performance information as well as any audits, studies, or evaluations that attest to the quality of current data or data collection efforts.

OMB Circular A-136

The purpose of OMB Circular A-136, Revised, Financial Reporting Requirements, July 2006, is to establish a single reference on all federal financial reporting guidance for entities required to submit audited financial statements, interim financial statements, and PARs. A submitting agency's PAR must contain the following:

Our audit focused on PAR Sections 1 and 2 above. Section 1 contains a “performance goals, objectives, and results” section, which “should summarize the key performance measures reported in the Performance Section of the PAR [Section 2].” Section 1 should highlight actual entity performance compared to targeted performance goals and indicators in the strategic and performance plan. Entities should discuss achievements and evaluate any failure to meet established targets. OMB Circular A‑136 states that “Entities are encouraged to provide in the PAR information to help the reader assess the relative efficiency and effectiveness of entity programs/operations.”

Section 2, the “Performance Section,” includes the elements previously bulleted under OMB Circular A-11 and provides further detail, while Section 1 highlights the performance information.

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