October 30, 2015 - National Security

Annual Performance Plans Present Contractor Opportunities

The Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-11, Part 6, requires nearly every government agency to issue Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and Annual Performance Reports.  The exceptions are the Central Intelligence Agency, the Government Accountability Office, the Panama Canal Commission, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Many contractors view the plans and the resulting reports as more documents in an endless list that do little more than highlight what the government has done wrong.  Instead, contractors should view the annual plans and reports as opportunities.  This is especially the case with the Annual Performance Plans, which provide a more useful level of detail than the Strategic Plans.

Taking the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Annual Performance Plan (the “DHS Plan”) as an example, contractors should first note the agency’s priorities.  In the DHS Plan, DHS identified the following focus areas for 2016:

    • Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security;
    • Enforcing and Administering Our Immigration Laws;
    • Securing and Managing Our Borders;
    • Strengthening National Preparedness and Resilience to Disasters;
    • Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace;
    • Promoting Management Stewardship; and
    • Promoting Program Integrity.

For each focus area, there are a number of projects.  Some of the projects are more administrative in nature, but some are in areas where contractors could help the government solve problems that the reports identify.  For example, for the first focus area, “Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security,” DHS’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is developing projects for carry-on baggage penetration testing and the use of data and predictive analytics.  For the focus area “Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace,” DHS’ OIG is examining DHS’ information security programs that support DHS intelligence operations.

By reviewing each agency’s Annual Performance Plan and the resulting reports, contractors may be able to deliver more timely White Papers, develop expertise in the focus areas and position themselves as industry leaders.

Those interested in reading some of the larger government agency Annual Performance Plans (which are combined in some cases with annual reports) can find them at the following links:

Department of Defense (Strategic Plan)

Department of State

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice


Department of the Interior

Department of Energy