Under the Government Performance and Results Act (the Results Act), agencies of the U.S. government are required to submit a 5-year strategic plan to the U.S. Congress by September 30, 1997 explaining how, when, and why they are spending tax dollars.

Enacted in 1993, the Results Act is in tended to "improve efficiency and effective ness of Federal programs by establishing a system to set goals for program performance and to measure results." Thus according to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, the aim is for agencies to measure their performances by the results of their task and services, not by the number of tasks and services performed. Toward that goal, the Act requires that federal entities complete the following 3-step process: