Observations on the General Services Administration's Fiscal Year 2000 Performance Plan

GGD-99-113R: Published: Jul 20, 1999. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the General Services Administration's (GSA) fiscal year (FY) 2000 performance plan, which was submitted to Congress in response to the Government Performance and Results Act, focusing on the: (1) usefulness of the agency's plan for decisionmaking; and (2) degree of improvement the agency's FY 2000 performance plan represents over the FY 1999 plan.

GAO noted that: (1) the GSA FY 2000 annual performance plan, issued March 2, 1999, should be useful to decisionmakers in that it provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency and a general discussion of the strategies for achieving its goals; (2) for example, 48 of the 58 goals in the FY 2000 plan had measures, baselines, and targets that are quantifiable and that should allow decisionmakers to more easily gauge performance; (3) however, the plan's discussion of the budget resources needed to achieve the goals is incomplete, and it provides only limited confidence that agency performance information will be credible; (4) for example, the 2000 plan continues to be very general and does not sufficiently discuss GSA's planned actions to verify and validate data that will be used to measure results; (5) overall, the FY 2000 plan more fully meets the criteria in the Results Act and related guidance and provides sufficient context for understanding GSA's operations and what it intends to achieve; (6) among its improvements, the plan has: (a) much better linkages between GSA's mission, strategic goals, and performance goals; (b) goals and measures that are more quantifiable and outcome oriented; and (c) clearer relationships between the goals and measures; (7) the plan is also improved in how it addresses crosscutting issues, management problems, and the strategies needed to achieve the goals; (8) however, the plan does not sufficiently discuss budget resources needed to achieve the goals or adequately describe GSA's efforts to verify and validate performance data; and (9) for example, the narrative for 30 of the 58 goals does not directly link the goals to the budget or explain why the linkage is missing.

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