Performance Reporting:

Few Agencies Reported on the Completeness and Reliability of Performance Data

GAO-02-372: Published: Apr 26, 2002. Publicly Released: May 16, 2002.

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J. Christopher Mihm
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The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires federal agencies to set goals for program performance and to report annually on their progress toward achieving those goals. Agencies need to produce credible performance data to provide transparency of government operations so that Congress, program managers, and others can make informed decisions. The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 requires agencies to assess the completeness and reliability of their performance data. However, GAO found that only five of the 24 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies' assessed the completeness and the reliability of their performance data in the transmittal letters accompanying their performance reports for fiscal year 2000. The other agencies somewhat discussed the quality of their performance data elsewhere in their performance reports. None of the agencies identified any material inadequacies with their performance data. However, concerns about the quality of performance data were identified by the inspector general as either a major management challenge or included in the discussion of other challenges for 11 of the 24 agencies. Although not required, discussing the performance reports in the standard or method used to assess the completeness and reliability of its performance data can provide helpful contextual information on the credibility of the reported performance data.

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