The Honorable Clay Johnson III
Deputy Director for Management
Office of Management and Budget
on Environment, Technology and Standards
Committee on Science
U.S. House of Representatives
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Members of the Committee, for inviting me to testify this morning. I want
to discuss with you our assessment of the Environmental Protection Agencys
(EPA) research programs and describe how the Presidents Management
Agenda helps federal agencies get greater results on behalf of the American
We, all of us, are
in the process of making the Federal Government results-oriented. We here
in Washington tend to focus on the amount of money were spending
as a validation for how much the Federal Government is committed to an
objective. As a part of becoming results-oriented, however, we are now
focusing more heavily on the results we achieve on behalf of the American
people. With just a little help from OMB, agencies are asking whether
they are achieving their objectives as effectively and efficiently as
possible. EPA is a leader in this effort.
EPA is as advanced
as any agency in government in having and using accurate financial information
to make day-to-day decisions about program management. For example, EPA
negotiates performance commitments with its grantees and provides resources
based on those commitments. EPA regularly monitors grantees performance
and expenditures and, if a grantee isnt meeting its commitments,
EPA may withhold resources from the non-performers and redirect those
resources to grantees that are meeting their commitments.
Assessment Rating Tool
Applying the Program
Assessment Rating Tool (PART) is one of the ways we are becoming results-oriented.
The PART is a series of questions that assesses the purpose, strategic
planning, management, and performance of individual programs. Programs
must demonstrate that their purpose is clear, that they set aggressive,
outcome-oriented long and short-term goals, that they are well managed,
and that they achieve results. With this tool, we are assessing the performance
of every Federal program, and if it is not working as intended, we are
trying to do something about it.
has used the PART to assess 400 programs so far, representing approximately
$1 trillion in Federal spending. We are using these assessments not only
to guide our budget decisions, but also to improve the performance and
management of the governments programs. The purpose of asking whether
programs are working is to figure out how to fix them, not whether to
spend more or less on them.
Research and Pollution Prevention PARTs
As you know, OMB
and EPA assessed EPAs Ecological Research program and Pollution
Prevention and New Technologies program using the PART. According to the
assessment, the Ecological Research program:
Like nearly 40 percent
of the programs evaluated using the PART, the principal finding for the
program was the lack of adequate performance measures. Therefore, EPA
has committed to finding the right measures for this important program.
The President has requested $110 million for this program in his FY 2005
Budget, down from $132 million in FY 2004.
According to the
assessment, the Pollution Prevention and New Technologies program:
did not adequately coordinate the expenditure of resources with other
EPA offices or other agencies;
lacks adequate annual measures of its performance; and
does not have sufficient evaluations of its performance.
As a result of these
findings, EPA has committed to developing adequate performance measures
and addressing findings made in previous independent evaluations. The
President has requested $36 million for this program in his FY 2005 Budget,
down from $42 million in FY 2004.
has not addressed findings made by independent evaluations; and
has not developed adequate measures of its performance.
funding for these programs?
Both the Ecological
Research and Pollution Prevention programs were unable to demonstrate
results, which clearly influenced funding decisions related to
the programs. Especially in a year like this one, when resources are constrained,
we should be directing resources to those programs that can achieve the
most for the money. EPA and OMB used the PARTs for the Ecological Research
and Pollution Prevention programs as one factor in making budget decisions
about those programs and to focus resources on the programs most effective
in helping EPA accomplish its mission.
As Ive mentioned,
the Pollution Prevention research program could not show whether the tools
it is developing are used by industry, and, if so, to what extent they
are used. Also, previous independent evaluations of the Pollution Prevention
research program concurred with the PART review, especially in the areas
of strategic planning and measurable results. On the other hand, a similar
program in the EPAs Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxics
was able to show that industry reduced its use and emissions of toxic
chemicals through the use of tools and methods developed by the program.
We consider reductions in pollution to be one of the highest-level outcomes
of an environmental programs performance. Therefore, we redirected
funds to the pollution prevention program so EPA can continue to achieve
pollution reduction, thereby positively impacting the quality of public
health and the environment. Despite redirection of a small amount of funds
from pollution prevention research to OPPTSs program, the Administration
maintained a large amount of funding for the pollution prevention research
program to assist it, among other things, in developing performance measures.
This is our rationale
for funding decisions related to EPAs research programs. I will
leave to Dr. Gilman a more robust discussion of how these funding decisions
were applied to specific components of the research programs.
Development and the Investment Criteria
investment in research & development, not only in the environmental
arena but elsewhere, is substantial. But in a time of constrained resources,
it is imperative that we invest in R&D wisely. In recognition of the
special challenges that measuring R&D programs present, and leveraging
work done by the National Academies of Science, the Administration developed
its R&D Investment Criteria, which were incorporated into the PART.
These criteria are some of the things we look at when assessing the value
of particular R&D programs:
As noted in our PART
evaluations, the programs we assessed could improve the ways they measure
their performance. The three EPA programs we assessed cover important
issues, and receive funding totaling approximately $210 million. We strongly
believe that programs with Federal funding of this magnitude should be
able to monitor and document how these investments are performing. There
are other equally important programs that are receiving similar levels
of funding, but whose results are more measurable. For example, the Department
of Energys Wind Energy program, with proposed FY 2005 funding of
$42 million, can demonstrate its contributions to the commercial success
of wind energy use throughout the United States. The Federal Aviation
Administrations Research, Engineering and Development program,
with proposed FY 2005 funding of $117 million, has set a long-term goal
to produce turbulence forecasting products that allow pilots to avoid
hazardous flight conditions while improving safety and ensuring efficient
Relevance. Programs must be able to articulate why they are important,
relevant, and appropriate for Federal investment;
Quality. Programs must justify how funds will be allocated to ensure
Performance. Programs must be able to monitor and document how well
the investments are performing.
of the PART
The PART is a vehicle
for improving program performance. It is just a tool to achieve the goals
laid out by Congress in the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).
GAO has made a number of recommendations for improving the PART, the vast
majority of which we agree with and are addressing. For example:
With respect to centrally monitoring PART recommendations, we have provided
a simple format for agencies to follow when reporting the status of
recommendation implementation to OMB and I receive these reports semi-annually.
We will continue to refine this process so that sufficient attention
is given to recommendation follow-up.
As the PART relies on separate evaluations of evidence of a programs
success, we agree with GAO that the judgment about what constitutes
a sufficient evaluation should be based on the quality, in addition
to the independence, of the evaluation.
One of the greatest opportunities for the PART is to compare the performance
of, and share best practices among, like programs across government.
We will continue to use the PART for that purpose.
We will continue to improve agency and Executive Branch implementation
of GPRA by insisting GPRA plans and reports meet the requirements of
this important law and the high standards set by the PART.
We are clarifying the PART guidance so that it is well understood by
those who have to use it, as well those who have to administer it. We
will continue to assess completed PARTs to ensure they are completed
consistently by agencies and OMB.
The PART is a valuable
tool now, as the General Accounting Office and others have asserted, and
it will get better each year. As more and more program assessments are
conducted, the vast majority of budget and management decisions will be
significantly influenced by information about how programs are performing.
Agencies, including EPA, will be better able to describe to Congress and
the taxpayer what his or her funding is purchasing and will be managing
so that each year improvements in efficiency and service delivery can