The annual evaluation plan documents the NRC’s approach for conducting evaluations of significance to the agency. Per section 101 (a) of the Evidence Act, "[t]he term 'evaluation' means an assessment using systematic data collection and analysis of one or more programs, policies, and organizations intended to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.” The significance of an evaluation can take into consideration factors such as the importance of a program or funding stream to the agency mission; the size of the program in terms of funding or people served; and the extent to which the study will fill an important knowledge gap regarding the program, population(s) served, or the issue(s) that the program was designed to address. The annual evaluation plan provides a summary of each evaluation and the associated activities necessary to conduct the evaluations. The annual evaluation plan is meant to help plan significant evaluation activities and fosters openness and transparency.
The Evidence Act requires the following information to be included in the Annual Evaluation Plan:
a description of key questions for each significant evaluation study that the agency plans to begin in the next fiscal year;
a description of key information collections or acquisitions the agency plans to begin in the next fiscal year; and
any other information included in guidance issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance and additional requirements for the Evaluation Plan in M-19-23.