Title: Federal performance budgeting and the US system of separation of powers: an examination of the program assessment rating tool

Authors: Odd J. Stalebrink; Velda Frisco

Addresses: School of Public Affairs, Pennsylvania State University, W160 Olmsted Bldg., 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA ' The George Washington University, 2300 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20037, USA

Abstract: This paper offers insight into how the US system of separation of power may have interfered with the implementation of the Office of Management and Budget's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), by examining the extent to which Congress was exposed to PART and how legislators' overall sentiment toward the tool changed during the six years it was utilised. Two sets of analyses were conducted including an aggregate level analysis and a more disaggregated level content analysis of references to PART. The findings of the aggregate analysis suggest that congressional PART exposure was moderate with exposure to PART increasing over time. The more disaggregated level analysis revealed that sentiment toward PART was initially negative, but turned more positive over time; and that legislators' direct involvement in discussions about PART increased over time, particularly among Republican members of Congress. This suggests that continuous exposure to an executive performance tool such as PART may have contributed positively toward removing barriers to implementation.

Keywords: program assessment rating tool; PART; budget; institutions; separation of powers; US Congress; US Presidency; reform; federal performance budgeting; USA; United States; executive performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2015.067817

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.283 - 302

Published online: 27 Feb 2015 *

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