Managing for Results:

Federal Managers' Views on Key Management Issues Vary Widely Across Agencies

GAO-01-592: Published: May 25, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 2001.

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J. Christopher Mihm
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For federal agencies to become high-performing organizations, top management needs to foster performance-based cultures, find ways to measure performance, and use performance information to make decisions. GAO's survey of federal managers found wide differences in how well individual agencies demonstrated a results-based climate. However, transforming organizational cultures is an arduous and long-term effort. Managers' responses suggest that although some agencies are clearly showing signs of becoming high-performing organizations, others are not. The survey provides important information that agency leadership can use to build higher-performing organizations throughout government. GAO will continue to work with senior leadership in the individual agencies to help address the issues raised by their managers in responding to the survey. Congress has a vital role to play as well. As part of its confirmation, oversight, authorization, and appropriation responsibilities, Congress could use the information from GAO's survey, as well as information from agencies' performance plans and reports and GAO's January 2001 Performance and Accountability Series and High-Risk Series, to emphasize performance-based management and to underscore Congress' commitment to addressing long-standing challenges.

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