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Appendix I: Government Performance and Results Act of 1993

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

One Hundred Third Congress
of the
United States of America

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three.

An Act

To provide for the establishment of strategic planning and performance measurement in the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the “Government Performance and Results Act of 1993“.

(a) Findings.-The Congress finds that-

(1) waste and inefficiency in Federal programs undermine the confidence of the American people in the Government and reduce the Federal Government’s ability to address adequately vital public needs;

(2) Federal managers are seriously disadvantaged in their efforts to improve program efficiency and effectiveness, because of insufficient articulation of program goals and inadequate information on program performance; and

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Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In general, an agency may not use appropriated funds to purchase items considered personal expenses, such as food, without specific authority (B-301184, Jan. 15, 2004).

The decision tree below identifies the statutory authority and limited exceptions that may permit an agency to provide food to employees at their duty stations:

1. All training must comply with the Government Employees Training Act definition of training in 5 U.S.C. 4101(4).

2. Food may be provided to nonfederal personnel whose participation is essential to accomplish required simulation antiterrorism training and the food is necessary to ensure realism of exercise (B-317423, March 9, 2009).

3. Criteria used in determining whether an agency may pay for food for an employee attending a nongovernmental meeting or conference:

Meals and refreshments are incidental to the meeting or conference,

Attendance at the meal or when refreshments are provided is important to ensure the employees’ full participation in the meeting or conference, and

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1 Performance Budgeting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There are serious weaknesses in the internal operations of the Federal Government in the fiscal field. These weaknesses penetrate into the heart of every governmental transaction. (T)he Government’s accounting system, outmoded and cumbersome, does not indicate what was accomplished with the money spent in the year past.

Only by making the head of each activity financially responsible for all the costs of his program, can he be held to account. Only by modernizing the Federal system of budgeting and accounting will it be possible to tell exactly how much any single program or project is costing. The Federal Government must be able to assess results intelligently.

One could easily assume these quotes are from a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report or from Congressional testimony. In truth, these rather astounding statements are from the Hoover Commission report of 1949.1 What’s more astounding is that they still ring true today.

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Chapter 8: Accelerated Payments and Fast Payment

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A basic tenet of the Prompt Payment Act is that federal payments must be made on time—not late, but also not early. However, the act does allow for several circumstances in which early payment is authorized. This chapter discusses these exceptions. Readers are reminded, however, that these exceptions to the Prompt Payment rules apply only to the “don’t pay early” rules. Payments made after the due date are still subject to interest penalties.

103. What are accelerated payments?

An accelerated payment is simply a payment made before the normal due date. The Final Rule outlines situations in which early payment is authorized.

104. May low-dollar invoices be paid early?

Yes, early payment is allowed for low-dollar invoices. Single invoices under $2,500 may be paid as soon as the paying office has matched up the contract, proper invoice, and receipt and acceptance documents.1 This authorization for early payment applies to all such small invoices except where a statute or the contract prescribes otherwise (for example, when a governmentwide commercial purchase card is used).

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Chapter 10: Documentation

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Prompt Payment Final Rule specifies the minimum documentation required to support the payment of invoices and interest penalties. The three broad categories of documentation are contracts, invoices, and receiving reports.

133. What information from a contract is required as documentation to support an invoice or interest payment?

The Final Rule lists nine specific required pieces of information.1

The payment due date, which will be one of the following:

A specific stated payment date

In accordance with discount terms when discounts are offered and taken

In accordance with accelerated payment methods

Thirty days after the start of the payment period (as defined in the Final Rule), if not otherwise specified in the contract, if discounts are not taken, and if accelerated payment methods are not used.

A notation in the contract that partial payments are prohibited, if applicable.

For construction contracts, specific payment due dates for approved progress payments or milestone payments for completed phases, increments, or segments of the project.

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