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Our Plans, Budget, & Performance

The NRC uses an integrated process to plan, budget, and assess its performance. Three principal publications document this process:

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Strategic Plan

The NRC's Strategic Plan (NUREG-1614) describes how the agency intends to accomplish its mission and establishes the Commission's strategic direction by defining the vision, goals, and outcomes it intends to pursue. In particular, the Strategic Plan focuses on the goals of safety, security, openness, effectiveness, and management that together support the agency's ability to maintain the public health, safety, and trust. Success in achieving each goal in the Strategic Plan will be gauged primarily through performance measures that have been developed for the agency's annual Congressional Budget Justification and will be reported in the annual Performance and Accountability Report.

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Congressional Budget Justification

Each year, the NRC publishes its Congressional Budget Justification (NUREG-1100). This publication describes the agency's programs in the performance plan, the budget estimates for these program activities, the distribution of the budget. The performance plan also includes goals and measures that gauge the agency's success in accomplishing its mission. The NRC sends its budget request to the President who submits it to Congress for authorization. A large percentage of the NRC's authorized budget is defrayed by the collection of license fees as required by law.

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The Performance and Accountability Report

The Performance and Accountability Report (NUREG-1542) presents a comprehensive and integrated picture of the agency's performance for a specific fiscal year. This report includes

  • the NRC's audited financial statements,
  • the results of an evaluation of management controls,
  • a report on the agency's success in achieving its strategic and performance goals,
  • the results of any significant assessments of program activities that were carried out during the reporting period, and
  • the NRC Inspector General's most serious management challenges facing the agency and how the NRC is addressing them.

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Executive Fleet Performance Report

On October 5, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13514, entitled “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance,” aimed at making ambitious and broad improvements in the overall sustainability of the Federal Government. Among other improvements, EO 13514 set a goal to reduce petroleum use in the Federal fleet. The related Presidential Memorandum on Federal Fleet Performance, dated May 24, 2011, stated that “We owe a responsibility to American citizens to lead by example and contribute to meeting our national goals of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025 and putting one million advanced vehicles on the road by 2015. Living up to that responsibility means the Federal fleet should operate only as many vehicles as needed to work efficiently, leveraging Federal purchasing dollars to build manufacturing capacity for more alternative fueled vehicles, and reducing petroleum consumption through efficiency and alternative fuels.” Toward that end, the Presidential Memorandum required all Federal agencies to disclose any executive fleet vehicles that are larger than a midsize sedan or that do not comply with alternative fuel requirements. The NRC fulfilled this requirement by publishing our Executive Fleet Vehicle Report.

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Conference Expense Waivers and Reports

On November 9, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13589, entitled "Promoting Efficient Spending," which directed Federal agencies to "take even more aggressive steps to ensure the Government is a good steward of taxpayer money." The related OMB Memorandum M-12-12, dated May 11, 2012, recognized that "the Federal Government has a responsibility to [ensure] that Federal funds are used for purposes that are appropriate, cost effective, and important to the core mission" of each agency. As part of the effort to safeguard Federal funds, Section 2 of the OMB memorandum directed agencies to "exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that conference expenses are appropriate, necessary, and managed in a manner that minimizes expense to taxpayers." Specifically, OMB outlined a series of new conference-related policies and practices, which directed agencies to initiate senior-level review of all planned conferences, initiate senior level approval of all future conference expenses in excess of $100,000, prohibit expenses in excess of $500,000 on a single conference (unless the agency head issues a waiver to achieve a compelling purpose), and report publicly on all conference expenses in excess of $100,000.

Consistent with that guidance, on June 12, 2013, NRC Chairman Macfarlane issued a waiver for the 2014 Regulatory Information Conference (RIC), to be held March 11-13, 2014, citing exceptional circumstances under which spending more than $500,000 on this event is the most cost-effective option to achieve a compelling purpose. Chairman Macfarlane also issued a waiver for the 2013 RIC, held on March 12-14, 2013.  Senior-level approval was obtained for the NRC-sponsored International Regulators Conference for Nuclear Security, held on December 4-6, 2012, which had total expenses in excess of $100,000.  By January 31 of each year, the NRC will provide a description of all agency-sponsored conferences from the previous fiscal year for which the net expenses associated with the conference exceeded $100,000.

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Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan

On October 5, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13514, entitled "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance," aimed at making ambitious and broad improvements in the overall sustainability of the Federal Government. All Federal agencies are required to inventory their greenhouse gas emissions, set targets to reduce their emissions by 2020, and develop a plan for meeting a wide range of goals for improving sustainability, such as water efficiency, reduced waste, sustainable community development planning, high-performance buildings, sustainable acquisition, electronics stewardship, and environmental management. In response, the NRC submitted our Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan for 2010, 2011, 2012 and more recently, 2013. In addition, as required by EO 13514, we released a Climate Change Adaptation Policy Statement, which commits our agency to ensure that our adaptation planning will address the impacts that climate change may have on our operations and assets.

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Information Technology/Information Management (IT/IM) Strategic Plan

Our Information Technology/Information Management (IT/IM) Strategic Plan (NUREG-1908) describes how IT/IM activities at the NRC contribute to the agency's mission. In so doing, the plan responds to Federal Requirements in the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, serving as the NRC's strategic information resources management plan in accordance with Section 3506(b)(2) of the PRA. Each 5-year IT/IM plan lays out the mission and vision for the agency's IT/IM programs and establishes goals, along with strategies for accomplishing those goals and measures of success in their attainment. These goals, strategies, and measures provide the foundation for directing and assessing the performance and results of the NRC's IT/IM over the next 3 – 5 years.

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NRC's Data Center Consolidation Plan

NRC’s Data Center Consolidation Plan was created in response to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) whose intent is to reverse the historic growth of Federal data centers. The FDCCI seeks to curb unsustainable increases in the number of data centers by reducing the cost of data center hardware, software, and operations; shifting IT investments to more efficient computing platforms; promoting the use of Green IT by reducing the overall energy and real estate footprint of government data centers; and increasing the IT security posture of the government.

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NRC's Web Improvement Plan

Consistent with Executive Order (EO) 13571, “Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service,” and the related guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we’ve developed an initial Web Improvement Plan. This plan is the first step in communicating the NRC's strategy for managing our Web resources more efficiently, improving online content, and enhancing the public's experience of our agency websites. As such, this plan responds to specific questions regarding the management of our websites in the .gov domain. As we continue to iteratively develop this plan over the next several months, we will address additional questions regarding our web improvement strategy, actions, measurements, and timelines. For additional detail, see our page on the CIO-Council .Gov Reform Initiative.

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NRC's Customer Service Plan

Consistent with Executive Order (EO) 13571, “Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service,” and the related guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we’ve developed a Customer Service Plan to describe our “signature initiative” and other initiatives we’ve undertaken to streamline our interactions and transactions with the public and other key stakeholder groups. In particular, we are focusing on enhancing licensing operations, critical interactions with licensees, and public access to regulatory documents. For additional detail, see Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service.

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NRC's Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules

Consistent with Executive Order (EO) 13579, "Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies," and the related guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we developed a final Plan.  The final Plan builds on our longstanding focus on ensuring that our regulations are effective, efficient, and up-to-date, recognizing our established processes to build a sound regulatory framework.  The final Plan also discusses efforts to incorporate risk assessments into regulatory decisionmaking, and to address the cumulative effects of regulation.  It also addresses the NRC's methodology for prioritizing the agency's rulemaking activities, as well as previous and ongoing efforts to update the agency's regulations on a systematic, ongoing basis.  In addition, the final Plan discusses rulemaking initiatives arising out of the NRC's ongoing review of agency regulations related to the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. For additional information, please see the related Federal Register notice.

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2011 Hiring Reform Action Plan

The NRC's Hiring Reform Action Plan describes how the agency intends to accomplish the tasks required to implement the President's initiative on Federal Hiring Reform. This action plan defines each of tasks, the action to be taken and responsible individual(s). The effective date for these actions is November 1, 2010.

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Other Assessments

Certain aspects of NRC's performance also receive independent assessment by the Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The NRC's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) independently and objectively conducts and supervises financial and performance audits and conducts criminal, civil, and administrative investigations. Performance audits focus on NRC administrative and program operations. Financial audits review NRC's internal control systems, transaction processing, financial systems, and contracts. The OIG also assists the agency by assessing and reporting on the NRC's efforts to ensure its safety-related programs are operating in accordance with prescribed rules and regulations.

The GAO is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its Constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the Federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates Federal programs and activities; and provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, May 14, 2014