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The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American PublicSpecial Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment$
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Rena Steinzor and Sidney Shapiro

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226772028

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226772042.001.0001

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Positive Metrics

Positive Metrics

(p.173) Chapter Eight Positive Metrics
The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public
University of Chicago Press

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires agencies to compile “strategic plans” that establish goals for evaluating their performance. Agencies devote thousands of hours to complying with the statute annually, but these efforts have a surreal quality, typically failing to acknowledge the impediments that produce regulatory failure. This chapter argues that performance must be measured based on positive metrics that invite a diagnosis of the impediments that prevent agencies from achieving their statutory missions. It begins with an examination of how national policy agendas get set. It then analyzes why the GPRA and other similar efforts have failed. This is followed by a discussion of the key attributes of positive metrics.

Keywords:   federal agencies, positive metrics, strategic plans, regulatory failure, performance evaluation, GPRA

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