FERC Can Improve Its Operational Performance by Broadening and Deepening Current Management Efforts

AFMD-84-8: Published: Jan 30, 1984. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 1984.

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GAO examined the overall operational performance of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to assess its management of operational performance and to identify opportunities for improvement. Operational performance is measured by timeliness, productivity, and quality of work and is a key indicator of management's effectiveness in using its resources to accomplish its work load.

Although FERC operational performance has improved since 1980, GAO found the need for further improvement in the areas of productivity and quality. Increases in productivity were significantly less than in previous years and were more moderate than improvements in timeliness. Despite overall gains in productivity, many organizational subdivisions experienced declines. GAO was unable to evaluate the quality of work because FERC has not developed any evaluation criteria, but GAO feels that this performance attribute requires attention to improve overall operational performance. FERC improved its timeliness by initiating specific improvement projects and emphasizing the importance of timeliness to all levels of management through techniques such as developing measures, setting goals, and developing a system of accountability.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation requires a research and development effort on the part of FERC. Therefore, the time required to complete the task is unknown, and GAO follow-up is not clearly cost beneficial.

    Recommendation: The Executive Director, FERC, should develop objective measures for quality. A first step in the process should be to review the 54 FERC activities and identify those that could be measured for quality. Also, in this development process, FERC should review similar organizations' experiences in developing and using quality measures.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Executive Director, FERC, should establish productivity improvement goals for all organizational levels and require managers at each level to report their plans for achieving such goals. These goals should be incorporated into the Senior Executive Service and merit pay contracts of agency managers and be used to ensure accountability for productivity performance.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Executive Director, FERC, should establish a system of accountability for productivity performance similar to that used for timeliness. GAO believes that discussing productivity, as well as timeliness in the monthly work load review meetings, will help provide this additional level of accountability.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Executive Director, FERC, should develop measures of productivity, beginning in fiscal year 1983, using the current management information system as a basis.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Executive Director, FERC, should address specific proposals listed in Appendix II of this report.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

 

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