Accountability Processes

Tracking Progress

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 established the need for agencies to identify performance goals, report progress against targets, and conduct data-driven reviews. These practices serve two key purposes for stakeholders within and outside the organization: to assess the organization’s health and impact and inform decision-making and strategy (including effective resource allocation). Treasury’s strategic framework was developed to meet these two purposes and support best-in-class organizational performance practices to help achieve the Department’s strategic objectives. This framework also integrates statutory requirements established by the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA), and the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act).

Treasury’s quarterly organizational performance reviews (described in the table below) provide a regular forum for open dialogue and coordination between Department and bureau and office leadership, bringing together different perspectives to set and align priorities, identify, and solve problems, review performance goals, and drive evidence-based decisions and results. 

To enhance accountability and ensure the strategic plan serves as a guide for decision-making throughout the Department, Treasury senior leadership designated goal leads and objective leads responsible for overseeing and monitoring progress towards the desired outcomes in the Strategic Plan. Throughout the quarterly review cycle outlined below, these senior accountable officials will provide Treasury leadership with an update on progress and areas where assistance is needed to meet priorities. These sessions will also inform course corrections and annual updates to the strategic plan.

Quarterly review cycle

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Focus Bureau Performance and Priorities Strategic Objective Annual Review (SOAR) Cross-cutting challenges; Critical Programs Budget
  • Review prior fiscal year’s performance at bureau/office level 
  • Recognize successes 
  • Set priorities for the year ahead 
  • Identify shortfalls/risks; accountability; assess organizational health 
  • Evaluate progress towards strategic goals and objectives (incl. progress of critical programs and projects)
  • Identify/validate Treasury priorities or strategic shifts
  • Outline potential topics for OMB annual review 
  • Issue-based sessions: deep dive on cross-cutting issues, identify near-term improvement strategies
  • Program-based sessions: check in on critical programs/ projects identified in the SOAR that need Treasury leadership attention
  • Align funding to priorities, performance impacts, and risk mitigation
  • Strengthen IT acquisition, budgeting, and accountability 
  • Identify efficiencies and redundancies in request 
  • Check in on health and update list of critical programs/projects based on budget requests 

Integrating Planning and Learning

Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities

Treasury is committed to advancing equity through its policies and programs and engaging regularly with diverse communities to ensure the Department’s programs create opportunity in underserved communities. In 2021, Treasury conducted an equity assessment and developed an Equity Action Plan to identify and remove barriers hindering equal access to Treasury’s programs and services, the Nation’s financial systems, and the Department’s procurement and contracting opportunities. Recognizing the importance of establishing an accountability framework for equity goals and the critical role advancing equity plays in Treasury’s mission, Treasury aligned this Equity Action Plan with the Department’s FY 22-26 Strategic Plan.

Equity is identified as a cross-cutting theme in 15 of 19 objectives in the Treasury FY 22-26 Strategic Plan as summarized on page 8. Strategies to mitigate long-term disparities in economic outcomes and promote equitable growth as well as measures to track progress towards these objectives are embedded throughout the plan. The accountability framework described on page 47 is Treasury leadership’s primary tool for ensuring progress is being made towards the Department’s priorities, including those outlined in the Equity Action Plan. Treasury has begun incorporating discussions of equity in mission areas and operations into the department’s quarterly performance review (QPR) and budget formulation processes.

Evidence and the Strategic Plan

Treasury strives to instill a data-driven and learning culture into the Department’s routines and organizational processes. The previously outlined accountability cycle highlights how we integrate performance measurement and data analysis into operational decision-making and strategic management processes. Treasury uses evidence to strengthen the Departmental budget cycle and identify priority investments to help Treasury achieve its goals. The Evidence Act requires agencies to develop a Multi-year Learning Agenda and Capacity Assessment, which Treasury has included as appendices to this Strategic Plan. 

Learning Agenda

The Learning Agenda is Treasury’s multi-year strategic evidence-building plan and focuses the Department’s attention on the evidence needed to implement the FY 2022–2026 Strategic Plan. Treasury will produce evidence that informs high priority operational and mission strategic issues in executing the Learning Agenda. During the strategic planning process, Treasury leaders identified areas where Treasury seeks to learn more about a topic/issue or lacks the necessary evidence base to make decisions or understand the impact. For each Strategic Objective, the “Learning Agenda Questions” section identifies the priority questions that make up Treasury’s Learning Agenda. The Learning Agenda Appendix further determines the nature and timing of planned activities and the data, tools, methods, and analytic approaches that Treasury will employ to answer each priority question. 

Read more about the Learning Agenda

Capacity Assessment 

Concurrent to developing the Strategic Plan, Treasury also assessed its capacity to build and use evidence generated through research, analysis, evaluation, and statistical activities. This capacity assessment highlights Treasury’s strengths and opportunities to grow capacity through increased investment in and attention to the Department’s staffing, funding, infrastructure, and processes. Treasury seeks to strengthen its evidence capacity through the Critical Management Initiatives identified for each Strategic Objective. While these initiatives do not address all gaps in evidence capacity across Treasury’s components, they represent the human capital, IT, and data infrastructure needs critical to achieving the priorities laid out in the Strategic Plan and Learning Agenda. 

Read more about the Capacity Assessment