Additional Background

In January 2011, the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) is signed into law. GPRAMA directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure the effective operation of a single website that provides a “coherent picture of all Federal programs, and the performance of the Federal Government as well as individual agencies.” This coherent picture becomes known as a Federal Program Inventory (FPI).

In January 2012, OMB performs a pilot (M-12-07) with 11 agencies as part of an iterative approach to implement the GPRAMA requirements.

In July 2012 OMB issues guidance (A-11, 280.3) based on lessons learned from the pilot to develop an initial FPI. The guidance recognizes that agencies and their stakeholders use the term “program” in different ways across widely varying missions and gives significant latitude to agencies in how they define program.

In May 2013, OMB publishes an initial FPI that includes more than 1,500 programs from 24 agencies. Because of the flexibility provided to agencies in how to define program, it is difficult to use the inventory to make meaningful comparisons across programs.

In May 2014, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) is signed into law, directing OMB to establish government-wide data standards for certain financial data and improve the quality of the data reported on Meeting the DATA Act reporting requirements becomes the focal point for OMB in creating the FPI.

In October 2014 and September 2017, GAO makes a number of recommendations to improve the 2013 FPI including using a more data-centric approach to provide a more coherent picture of all federal programs and better ensure information is useful for decision-makers.

2015 through 2019, OMB focuses agency efforts on implementing the DATA Act. This important work to improve data quality (M-18-16) and build a more robust data information architecture are prerequisites to creating a coherent and comprehensive FPI.

In early 2020, as agency DATA Act reporting matures, OMB uses lessons learned from that implementation and the lessons learned from the initial GPRAMA FPI pilot to re-imagine ways to create the program inventory and identifies advancing FPI efforts as a 2020 priority.

In December 2020, OMB issues a memo to Federal agencies launching the FPI Exploratory Pilot as the next interim step to creating a comprehensive inventory. The pilot is designed to identify gaps in existing guidance and test an innovative approach to defining program.

In January 2021, OMB launches this website and publishes the initial results from the pilot.