Veterans Affairs:

Status of Achieving Key Outcomes and Addressing Major Management Challenges

GAO-01-752: Published: Jun 15, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2001.

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Stephen P. Backhus
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This report reviews the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) fiscal year 2000 performance report and fiscal year 2002 performance plan required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 to assess VA's process in achieving selected key outcomes that are important to its mission. VA reported making mixed progress towards achieving its key outcomes. For example, VA reported that it made good progress in providing high-quality care to patients, but it did not achieve its goal of processing veterans' benefits claims in a timely manner. GAO found out that VA made several improvements to its fiscal year 2000 performance report and 2002 performance plan. These improvements resulted in clearer discussions of VA's management challenges and additional performance measures for assessing program achievement. Furthermore, VA addressed all six of the major management challenges previously identified by GAO, and generally described goals or actions that VA is taking or plans to take in response to them. VA has established strategies for achieving strategic goals and objectives for two of these challenges: human capital management and information security. VA has established a performance goal and identified milestones for implementing certain strategies to address information security. However, VA has not identified performance goals and measures for human capital management linked to achieving programmatic results.

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