Performance not measuring up, GAO finds
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Nov 14, 2000
GAO report: "Managing for Results"
Federal managers are not making much progress in managing for results, according
to the General Accounting Office.
In a recent report, GAO found that the Government Performance and Results
Act of 1993 — the law designed to bring performance measurement to government — has been a challenge for agencies.
GPRA requires agencies to focus on the results of their activities, such
as improved responsiveness or program quality, and to develop multiyear
strategic plans, annual performance plans and annual performance reports.
GAO found that many areas remain in which change has not occurred. For instance,
managers reported that their top leadership still did not show a "consistently
strong commitment to achieving results." About 57 percent of managers overall
reported such a commitment to a great or very great extent in 1997, compared
with 53 percent in 2000.
In addition, although more managers reported having performance measures,
fewer reported using them extensively. In 2000, 84 percent of managers overall
said there are performance measures for the programs they are involved with — up from 76 percent in 1997. Actually using this information however, ranged
from 38 percent for developing and managing contracts to 56 percent for
setting program priorities.
These statistics are "disturbing," GAO said. "It suggests that efforts to
increase the focus on results and the use of performance information are
not penetrating the federal bureaucracy."