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Reinventing Environmental Regulation Via the Government Performance and Results Act: Where's the Money?

October 1998

Citation: 28 ELR 10563

Issue: 10

Author: Rena I. Steinzor and William F. Piermattei

Editors' Summary: In 1993, Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which requires federal agencies to prepare strategic plans containing mission statements and statements of their goals and objectives. The plans must explain how the agencies will achieve these goals and must describe the resources they need to do so. The statute also requires agencies to begin preparing annual performance reports in March 2000 that compare their goals and performance indicators with their actual program performance.

This Dialogue examines the impact of GPRA on EPA, and specifically on the Agency's strategic planning and budget processes. The Dialogue begins with an explanation of GPRA and the part the statute plays in recent efforts to "reinvent" government. It then examines historical trends in EPA's budget, especially in light of congressional mandates imposed on the Agency. The Dialogue considers the Agency's 1997
Strategic Plan and 1999 Annual Plan, and discusses the nexus between these documents and the actual fiscal allocations proposed by EPA. In an upcoming Dialogue, the authors will examine GPRA's impact on EPA's relationship with its state counterparts.

Rena Steinzor is an Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Law Clinic and William Piermartei is entering his third year as a student at the University of Maryland School of Law. They are grateful for the excellent research assistance provided by Kathleen Byrne and Kevin Flynn, also students at the law school.

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