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United States Forest Service
Glossary of Terms
TERM
DEFINITION
A-11
OMB procedures and requirements governing the President’s
competitive sourcing initiative.
ACCOUNTABILITY
Government is willing and able to tell taxpayers what they are
getting for their money, in terms of results, and why.
ACTIVITY
A set of Services grouped together around a common
purpose, result, or outcome.
ACRONYMS
COMMONLY USED
IN THE USFS
ADTC – Advanced Data Tools Corporation
BFES – Budget Formulation and Execution System
BLI – Budget Line Item
CTA – Credibility through Accountability
FFIS – Federal Financial Information System
FLT – Forest Leadership Team
FLF – Field Leadership Forum
EST – Executive Steering Team
IRM – Information Resource Management
IPOW – Integrated Program of Work
IPT – Integrated Project Team
NLT – National Leadership Team
PAS – Performance Accountability System
PBA – Program and Budget Analysis
PBI – Program Budget Instructions
SPRA – Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
RLT – Regional Leadership Team
R 10 – Region 10 Alaska
R/S/A – Region, Station, Area
SEA – Strategic Effectiveness and Accountability Team in
R10
WC – Weidner Consulting – Performance Contractor/Coach
for Credibility Through Accountability
WO – Washington Office
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TERM
DEFINITION
ANNUAL PLAN
The forest or regional office Annual Plan that includes the
Service and Activity and Program structure from the Business
Plan, budget formulation amounts for each Activity, and
performance targets for performance measures which are
expected from the investment of public resources through the
budget process.
ARCHITECTURE
(REFERENCE
MODEL)
The planning elements and hierarchy designed by OMB to
guide federal agency Strategic Planning.
BASELINE
Established level of previous or current performance that can
be used to set future performance targets and provide a
comparison for assessing future progress.
BENCHMARK
The continuous process of collecting information on internal
or external standards, processes, and/or best practices,
evaluating why they are successful and applying what is
learned to improve organizational performance.
BUDGET
FORMULATION AND
EXECUTION SYSTEM
(BFES)
The Agency-wide system and process for budget
FORMULATION, EXECUTION, and REPORTING. [This is
not the definition of BFES; it is a description of the “no
name” system and process that needs to be developed to
support these activities.]
BUDGET LINE ITEM
(BLI)
The basic level of accountable detail of the appropriations
from Congress. It is also a clarification of purpose and level
of funds appropriated by Congress associated with one or
more activities.
BUDGET
PRESENTATION
The agency’s presentation of its budget proposal to OMB and
to Congress.
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TERM
BUSINESS PLAN
DEFINITION
The Business Plan is developed by the agency prior to the
formulation of the budget and provides the Program and
Activity structure of the agency’s formulated budget. It
encompasses all Programs and activities provided through the
USFS, and includes the following elements:






Program Issue Statements
Program Purpose Statements
Program Key Results
Activity Purpose Statements
Services Provided Through the Activity
Family of Measures
 Outcomes, Outputs, Demand, Efficiency
 Performance Partners and Cross-Cutting Issues
BUSINESS
PLANNING
WORKSHOP
A facilitated work session in which Program or Activity
Business Plan elements (such as Services, Purpose
Statements, and Family of Measures) are developed by Forest
Service personnel.
CAPACITY
The ability of the agency to reach a performance target
included in the Annual Plan/budget formulation. Capacity is
usually broken out in terms of people, assets and financial
resources, all of which roll up to the ability of the agency to
meet performance targets.
CHANGE
MANAGEMENT
The process of involving the people who will most effected
by the change, or who have a stake in the results of the effort,
and then planning, designing, and implementing the change
throughout the organization, within its culture and
management systems.
COMMUNICATION
PLAN
A formal written set of objectives, strategies/tasks, timelines,
messages, etc., which provides guidance for communicating
agency Business Plan, budget, and related information to
internal and external stakeholders.
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TERM
CONSERVATION
AGREEMENT
CONSENSUS
COST
CREDIBILITY
CREDIBILITY
THROUGH
ACCOUNTABILITY
DEFINITION
A formal agreement between the USDA Forest Service and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or National Marine
Fisheries Service identifying management actions necessary
to prevent the need to list species under the Endangered
Species Act (Proposed Planning Rule, Section219.36, August
2000).
The group-based process in which every participating
member agrees to support the decision, even though it may
not be the first choice of every member of the group.
The fully loaded budget elements of expense for a budget line
item, Program, Activity, Service, or other defined unit.
The sustained condition in which OMB, Congress and the
Public believe what the agency says or publishes in terms of
performance, both past performance attained and future
performance anticipated; also a belief that the agency does
what it says it will do.
Credibility Through Accountability means that an entire
organization, its management system, the people who work
there and the organizational culture (beliefs, behavior and
language) are focused on achieving results for the customer.
It combines everything in the definitions of performance
accountability system and cultural change: An integrated
management system in which Annual Plans, Business Plans
and Strategic Plans, including performance measures at all
levels, are all aligned and integrated into budget formulation
and execution, and an organizational culture in which the
language, beliefs and behaviors of the agency are focused on
results for customers.
Credibility Through Accountability makes it possible to make
good business decisions based on performance and makes it
possible for an Agency to demonstrate accountability for
results.
CRITERION
CULTURAL CHANGE
Version: Working Draft
A category of conditions or processes by which sustainable
forest management may be assessed. A criterion is
characterized by a set of related indicators which are
monitored periodically to assess change.
When the language, beliefs and behaviors of the agency are
focused on results for customers.
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TERM
DEFINITION
CUSTOMER(S)
An individual or group of individuals who receives the
products or Services produced through an Activity and
experiences the benefits.
DATA COLLECTION
Identification and recording of raw data that supports
performance measures at all levels in the Business Plan and
Strategic Plan.
DESIRED
Those species of plants or animals that are not indigenous to
NONNATIVE SPECIES an area but valued for their contribution to species diversity or
their high social, cultural, or economic value (Proposed
Planning Rule, Section 219.36, August 2000)
ECOLOGICAL
Components of the biological and physical environment that
CONDITIONS
can affect the diversity of plant and animal communities,
including species viability and the productive capacity of
ecological systems. These could include the abundance and
distribution of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, roads and other
structural developments, human uses, and invasive and exotic
species (Proposed Planning Rule, Section 219.36, August
2000).
ECOLOGICAL
SUSTAINABILITY
The maintenance or restoration of ecological system
composition, structure, and function which are characteristic
of a plan area over time and space, including, but not limited
to, ecological processes, biological diversity, and the
productive capacity of ecological systems. (Proposed Rule,
Section 219.36, August 2000)
EMPLOYEE
PERFORMANCE
PLAN
Individual employee performance plan establishes
performance goals and measures that are aligned with
Activity Family of Measures. The plan also identifies
developmental needs to enable employees to meet
performance goals.
EXECUTION
The application of appropriated budget line item resources
within required guidelines to achieve work toward desired
outcomes or other agency, Program, or Activity purposes.
EXPENDITURE
The completed element of cost actually expended against
appropriated budget line item funds
EXTERNAL FACTOR
An issue or trend outside the agency which impact the
performance of the agency’s Programs.
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TERM
DEFINITION
FAMILY OF
MEASURES
Refers to the four categories of performance metrics that will
be used to measure the performance of an Activity, including
outcomes, outputs, demand, and efficiency performance
measures. They are referred to as a Family of Measures
because they are developed and used in relation to one
another. Together, they tell this story for each Activity: “We
will produce this Outcome for this customer by producing this
Service (Output) against this Demand for the Service at this
Cost (Efficiency).”
FOCAL SPECIES
Focal species are surrogate measures used in the evaluation of
ecological sustainability, including species and ecosystem
diversity. The key characteristic of a focal species is that its
status and trend provide insights to the integrity of the larger
ecosystem to which it belongs. Individual species, or groups
of species that use habitat in similar ways or which perform
similar ecological functions, may be identified as focal
species. Focal species serve an umbrella function in terms of
encompassing habitats need for many other species, pay a key
role in maintaining community structure or processes, are
sensitive to the changes likely to occur in the area, or
otherwise serve as an indicator of ecological sustainability.
Certain focal species may be used as surrogates to represent
ecological conditions that provide for viability of other
species, rather than directly representing the population
dynamics of those other species. (Proposed Planning Rule,
Section 219.36, August 2000)
FORMULATION
The process of developing budget requests within required
guidelines to achieve desired outcomes or other agency,
Program, or Activity purposes.
FUNDING
The fiscal resources available to the agency from
appropriated and other sources.
GENERAL GOAL
Strategic outcomes which are measurable.
GOAL
A GOAL is one of those listed in the USDA Forest Service
Strategic Plan. Goals should be strategic, measurable results.
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TERM
DEFINITION
GREEN SPACE
Refers to the integrated network of watersheds, airshed,
woodlands, wildlife habitats, greenways, parks, working
farms, ranches, forests, urban trees and parkways, and other
open spaces that when incorporated into local and regional
plans, policies, and practices provide vital Services that
sustain and ensure the quality of life. (From Executive
Summary of Green Infrastructure Training Program Work
Session, National Conservation Training Center, WV, August
4–5, 1999)
GPRA (acronym)
Government performance and Accountability Act. Also
referred to as S20 or the Roth Act, GPRA is a federal statute
requiring federal agencies to develop Strategic Plans, annual
performance plans, and annual performance reports.
INDIVIDUAL UNIT
PLAN (IUP)
Forest Plan or an Annual Plan, see as defined above.
INTEGRATION
The formal alignment of the agency’s Strategic, Business and
Annual Plans with budget formulation and execution, and
with individual performance plans.
INVASIVE SPECIES
An alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause
economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health.
An alien species includes, with respect to a particular
ecosystem and species, its seeds, eggs, spores, or other
biological material capable of propagating that species that is
not native to that ecosystem. (Executive Order #13112)
INVENTORY OF
SERVICES
A compilation of Services delivered through an Activity
developed during a Business Planning workshop and
contained within a final Business Plan.
IPOW (acronym)
Integrated Program of Work.
ISSUE
IDENTIFICATION
Process of identifying issues and trends that will have a major
impact on customers, the natural resource, or the agency over
the next 2-5 years.
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TERM
DEFINITION
ISSUE STATEMENTS
Issue Statements summarize the issues and trends that will
have a major impact on the Agency and its customers over the
next 2-5 years. Issue Statements are in two parts, the first
describing the issue or trend, and the second describing how
that trend, if status quo continues, will impact customers, the
natural resource or the agency over the next 2-5 years.
IT (acronym)
Information Technology provided through purchase and/or
provided through Information Resource Management.
KEY OUTCOME
MEASURES
Activity Outcome Measures selected for and displayed at the
Program level. They represent the primary results, impacts, or
benefits for/on customers.
LEADERSHIP
REVIEW
Four step process by which the Business Plan is approved by
the senior leadership in the RAS’s. Steps include:
 Business Planning products developed in
workshops
 Consultant Interim Review
 Credibility Through Accountability Team Review
 RFT Approval
LINKING / MAPPING /
ALIGNMENT
Obligatory relationship between the components of a
Performance Accountability System or Process
LINKING – establishes by attribution, a relationship between
components after the plans are developed
MAPPING – identifies the logical relationship between the
strategic and operation elements (attribution)
ALIGNMENT – doing it right and in the right order. The
measurable impact on the next higher element.
MAPPING facilitates ALIGNMENT.
The Activity alignment team should do the MAPPING, not
the ALIGNMENT
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TERM
DEFINITION
LOW-INCOME
POPULATION
Any readily identifiable group of low-income persons who
live in geographic proximity to—and, if circumstances
warrant, migrant farm workers and other geographically
dispersed/transient persons who will be similarly affected
by—U.S. Department of Agriculture Programs or activities.
(Environmental Justice, USDA Department Regulation 56002, December 15, 1997)
MEAN
Arithmetic average.
MISSION
A statement of purpose for the entire organization. It should
include the name of the agency, a summary of the Services,
name the customer group at the agency level, and the desired
results at the highest level. The mission does not have to be
measurable. Each person working in the agency and
customers must see themselves in the mission statement.
NATIVE SPECIES
Species of the plant and animal kingdom indigenous to the
plan area or assessment area (Proposed Planning Rule,
Section 219.36, August 2000)
NATIONAL
PERFORMANCE
MEASURE
One of the Performance Measures from the USDA Forest
Service Strategic Plan. Those performance measures that are
reported for the agency; a subset of all performance measures
used by the agency.
OBJECTIVE
One of objectives of those listed in the Forest Service
Strategic Plan. An objective may be supported by many
activities.
OUTCOME MEASURE
An outcome is the benefit, result or the impact the customer
receives or experiences as a consequence of receiving a set of
the agency’s Services. An outcome measure is the specific,
formal quantitative metric of the benefit, result or the impact
the customer receives or experiences as a consequence of
receiving a Service. It is a calculation expressed as a rate,
ratio, or percentage.
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TERM
DEFINITION
OUTCOME GOAL
An outcome goal is a statement of the intended result, effect
or consequence that will occur from carrying out a Program
or Activity [Definition tabled by the Activities group; this
definition is from A11]
OUTPUT
An OUTPUT is a count or quantification of a Service
produced through an Activity. An OUTPUT MEASURE is a
specific, formal, and quantifiable metric that measures the
number of units of a Service provided to customers. It is a
numerical count expressed as a number.
PERFORMANCE
ACCOUNTABILITY
SYSTEM (PAS)
An integrated management system in which Annual Plans,
Business Plans and Strategic Plans, including performance
measures at all levels, are all aligned and then integrated into
budget formulation and execution. This terms also is used to
describe the IT system that will support the PAS by storing,
managing and reporting performance information in support
of decision making.
PERFORMANCE
BASED BUDGETING
Refers to the formulation of the agency budget structured by
Services, Activities, and Programs in the Business Plan,
which are organized and aligned to results for customers. In
Performance Based Budgeting, budget decisions are informed
by performance information about those activities and
Programs, especially in regard to the results they achieve for
customers.
PERFORMANCE
TARGET
Percentage or number for each Activity and Program
performance measure that will be the desired level of
performance for the upcoming budget period. These are set
during the Annual Plan/budget formulation process.
PERFORMANCE
MEASURE
See NATIONAL PERFORMANCE MEASURE (for the
purposes of the November 1 deadline for Activity alignment).
PRIMARY PURPOSE
Agency interpretation of appropriations law and
Congressional intent with regard to BUDGET LINE ITEM
usage.
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TERM
DEFINITION
PROCESS
A set of tasks aligned and sequenced to produce a Service that
can be delivered or provided to customers.
PRODUCT
A product is equivalent to a Service, which is defined as the
tangible or intangible product the customer receives.
PROGRAM
A set of Activities that have a common purpose, result, or
outcome and that are critical in accomplishing the agency’s
Mission. Programs have a Purpose Statement and Key
Outcome Measures and are associated with one Budget Line
Item.
PROGRAM
EVALUATION
Program Assessment Reporting Tool (PART) is used by
OMB to evaluate the extent to which federally funded
Programs are effectively managed. This assessment places a
primary emphasis on measuring performance. Generally
defined a Program evaluation is An assessment, through
objective measurement and systematic analysis, of the
manner and extent to which Federal Programs achieve
intended objectives.
PROPERLY
FUNCTIONING
CONDITION
Ecosystems at any temporal or spatial scale are in properly
functioning condition when they are dynamic and resilient to
perturbations to structure, compositions, and processes of
their biological or physical components. Risk refers to
situations in which the outcome is not certain, but the chance
of system degradation beyond the point of resiliency and
sustainability can be estimated. (October 23, 1998, Properly
Functioning Condition, Rapid Assessment Process,
Intermountain Region, USDA Forest Service)
PROJECT
A funded change or improvement on USFS lands and
resources.
PURPOSE
STATEMENT
A one sentence statement for each Activity and Program that
includes the name, summary of Services, customer group and
desired result.
REAL-TIME
Usually refers to training which occurs immediately prior to
agency staff using the information to complete a critical task.
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TERM
DEFINITION
REPLICABLE AND
SCALABLE
Change efforts that can be successfully repeated throughout
the agency and at all levels and units within the agency.
REPORTABLE
Description of a performance measure for which there is
performance data available to report.
REPORTING
(PAR or MAR?)
Annual performance REPORTING provides information on
Activity and Program performance and progress in achieving
the goals in the Strategic Plan and performance based budget.
RESULTS
Synonymous with outcomes. The impact or benefit the
customer experiences as a consequence of receiving the
agency’s Services.
SERVICE
The tangible or intangible product or deliverable that the
customer receives.
SERVICE DELIVERY
PARTNERS
Internal Forest Service organizational units or Activities that
provide support or Services integral to achieving results in
another Activity.
SPECIES
Any member of the animal or plant kingdom that is described
as a species in a peer-reviewed scientific publication and is
identified as a species by the responsible official pursuant to a
plan decision—must include all species listed under the
Endangered Species Act as threatened, endangered, candidate
or proposed for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(Proposed Planning Rule, Section 219.36, August 2000).
SPECIES AT RISK
Federally listed threatened, endangered, candidate or
proposed species and other species for which loss of viability,
including reduction in distribution or abundance, is a concern
within the plan area. Other species-at-risk may include
sensitive species and State listed species. A species-at-risk
also may be selected as a focal species (Proposed Planning
Rule, Section 219.36, August 2000).
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TERM
DEFINITION
SPECIES VIABILITY
A species consisting of self-sustaining and interacting
populations that are well distributed through the species’
range. Self-sustaining populations are those that are
sufficiently abundant and have sufficient diversity to display
the array of life history strategies and forms to provide for
their long-term persistence and adaptability over time
(Proposed Planning Rule, Section 219.36, August 2000).
STAKEHOLDER
Any person or group with a vested interest in or with
expectations of performance from the agency or a specific
Program.
STRATEGIC GOAL
Included in a Strategic Plan, this goal defines how an agency
will carry out its mission over a period of time. The goal is
expressed in a manner that allows a future assessment to be
made of whether the goal was or is being achieved. The goal
may be of a Programmatic, policy, or management nature.
General goals are predominately outcome-type goals.
STRATEGIC
OBJECTIVE
Included in a Strategic Plan, the objective(s) are paired with a
general goal and can be used to help assess whether a general
goal was or is being achieved. An objective usually describes
a more specific or measurable level of achievement than a
general goal.
STRATEGIC PLAN
The STRATEGIC PLAN defines the purpose of the
organization, the strategic outcomes the agency will achieve
to influence the future.
The Strategic Plan is a tool to be used in setting priorities and
allocating resources consistent with these priorities. [A-11]
provides the direction, vision, and guidance to direct
resources to best accomplish the MISSION of the
organization
STRATEGIC
BUSINESS PLAN
Version: Working Draft
A plan for each RAS that includes all Business Plan elements
which are appropriate, and additional issue statements and
general goals for that region, area or station.
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TERM
DEFINITION
STRATEGY
An new action or set of actions designed to improve
performance or mitigate the performance effects of some
internal or external change. Strategies are developed during
preparation of Annual Plans.
STRUCTURE
Refers to the hierarchy of Programs and Activities in the
Business Plan. It may also be used for Budget Formulation
and Budget Execution.
SUSTAINABLE
FOREST
MANAGEMENT
Sustainable Forest Management is the forest component of
sustainable development, which is defined as “development
that meets the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (The
Bruntland Commission Report, Oxford University Press,
1987, p.43). The Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators
(see Appendix C) taken together also provide an implicit
definition of what is meant by Sustainable Forest
Management at the national level.
SYSTEM
May refer either to an IT system that supports decision
making or Service delivery or to a management process by
which information is used to make decisions.
TEAM
A group of people with complementary skills or knowledge,
who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance
goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually
accountable.
TREND
In data analysis, a trend refers to the documented recurrence
over time of a measurable event or circumstance that is
increasing, decreasing or even staying the same. The size of
the number of occurrences often determines whether the
recurrences constitute a trend. If the number of recurrences is
very small, it may take a number of years to document a trend
in one direction or another, while a large number of events or
occurrences may reveal a trend within months.
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TERM
DEFINITION
Underserved
Underserved means “ … all potential customers [should have]
full access to all USDA Programs and Services,” including
women, minorities, and limited-resource customers.
(Secretary’s memorandum creating the Office of Outreach)
WORKPLAN
A work planning system used by all USFS units.
WORKSHOP
Planning session where the Business Plan or Annual Plan is
developed.
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