Department of Transportation:

Status of Achieving Key Outcomes and Addressing Major Management Challenges

GAO-01-834: Published: Jun 22, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2001.

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The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 requires agencies to produce annual performance reports. GAO reviewed the Department of Transportation's (DOT) performance reports for fiscal years 2000 and 2002 to assess its progress in achieving selected key outcomes in important mission areas. This report (1) assesses the progress DOT has made in accomplishing these outcomes and the strategies the agency has in place to achieve them and (2) compares DOT's fiscal year 2000 performance report and fiscal year 2002 performance plan with the agency's prior year performance report and plan for these outcomes. DOT's consolidated performance report makes it clear that DOT achieved only limited progress in fiscal year 2000 toward achieving the selected outcomes and that the agency directly indicated that its current strategies are not likely to result in achievement of the goals. DOT provided a clear, well-organized discussion of performance goals, measures, and data in both fiscal year 2000 and fiscal year 2002 performance plans.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOT does not intend to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the operating administrations and the Office of Budget and Program Performance to improve the match between annual performance goals and strategies by changing strategies so that they help the DOT achieve its performance goals or lower performance goals to more achievable levels. In the latter case, the Department should provide a justification for why the changes were necessary, clearly note that the goals have been lowered, and identify any long-term strategies that will bring performance into better alignment with expectations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its 2001 Performance Report, DOT revised its performance measure for pipeline safety to more closely measure the deaths and injuries associated with pipeline accidents.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the operating administrations and the Office of Budget and Program Performance to improve the match between annual performance goals and strategies by establishing performance goals for reducing the number of fatalities and injuries caused by pipeline failures to match similar goals in the aviation, highway, transit, and marine sectors.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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