Government Performance

and Results Act

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) was passed by Congress to help federal agencies plan more effectively and focus on results, rather than on processes and program activities. GPRA requires each agency to prepare a five-year strategic plan, and to issue annual performance plans and reports.

The Government Performance and Results Act, P.L. 103-62 was enacted to make federal programs more effective and publicly accountable by requiring agencies to institute results-driven improvement efforts, service-quality metrics, and customer satisfaction programs. Other statutory goals were to improve Congressional decision-making and the internal management of the United States Government, as cited in P.L. 103-62, sec. 2(b), 107 Stat 285. Because of the role of the Postal Service™ as an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the Government of the United States, section 7 of the law establishes separate provisions which apply to the Postal Service (sections 2801-2805 of title 39, United States Code).

Section 2802 of title 39, United States Code, required that the Postal Service submit to the President and the Congress a strategic plan for its program activities, no later than September 30, 1997. Additionally, Section 2802 requires the Postal Service to update and revise its strategic plan at least every three years. The plan is to contain:

  1. A comprehensive mission statement covering the major functions and operations of the Postal Service;
  2. general goals and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, for the major functions and operations of the Postal Service;
  3. a description of how the goals and objectives are to be achieved, including a description of the operational processes, skills and technology, and the human, capital, information, and other resources required to meet the goals and objectives;
  4. a description of how the performance goals included in the annual performance plan required under section 2803 relate to the general goals and objectives in the strategic plan;
  5. an identification of the key factors external to the Postal Service and beyond its control which could significantly affect the achievement of the general goals and objectives; and
  6. a description of the program evaluations used in establishing or revising general goals and objectives, with a schedule for future program evaluations. 39 U.S.C. 2802(a).

GPRA also requires the preparation of annual performance plans covering each program activity set forth in the Postal Service budget. 39 U.S.C. 2803. These plans link the organizational goals in the Strategic Plan with ongoing operations. Finally, the law requires the preparation of annual performance reports that review and compare actual performance with the performance targets stated in the annual plans. 39 U.S.C. 2804.

In order to continue to involve the public in this planning process, GPRA also requires the Postal Service, as it develops each new iteration of the strategic plan, to “solicit and consider the views and suggestions of those entities potentially affected by or interested in such a plan, and shall advise the Congress of the contents of the plan.” 39 U.S.C. 2802(d).