The Results Act:

Observations on the Postal Service's Preliminary Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2000

GGD-99-72R: Published: Apr 30, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Postal Service's Preliminary Performance Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2000.

GAO noted that: (1) the Postal Service's preliminary performance plan for FY 2000 will be useful to decisionmakers in that it articulates well the Service's mission and performance goals and provides more measures to track intended performance; (2) for example, the Service's preliminary performance plan for FY 2000 includes a discussion of the Service's mission that is consistent with the Service's 5-year Strategic Plan; goals that respond to key challenges and appear balanced and challenging; and continued development of performance measures and targets to track intended performance; (3) as the Service develops its final performance plan for FY 2000, it could enhance its usefulness by improving the linkage between performance goals, strategies, and resources, providing more complete baseline data on past performance, and by identifying the top goals for the year covered by the plan; (4) for example, GAO believes that the plan could be more useful to decisionmakers if it clearly indicated how the Service's human capital will contribute to achieving performance goals, such as those that relate to improving timely mail delivery; (5) GAO's review of the Service's preliminary performance plan for FY 2000 represents GAO's assessment of a work in progress; (6) unlike other federal agencies, the Service is not required to submit its performance plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is not subject to OMB's Circular A-11; (7) the Service submitted its plan to Congress in February 1999 by filing its preliminary performance plan for FY 2000 as part of the Service's annual Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations; (8) the Service's preliminary performance plan for FY 2000 is provisional until resources have been allocated and the Board of Governors adopts the Service's budget; and (9) the Service plans to publish its final performance plan for FY 2000 by September 30, 1999, after adoption by the Board of Governors, which is to include final decisions on resource allocations.

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