Observations on the Department of State's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan
NSIAD-00-189R: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2000.
- Full Report:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of State's fiscal year (FY) 1999 performance report and FY 2001 performance plan required by the Government Performance and Results Act.
GAO noted that: (1) State made limited progress toward achieving its goal to eliminate the threat to the United States and its allies from weapons of mass destruction; (2) in the narrative section of the FY 1999 performance report, State acknowledges that it was unable to achieve its 1999 strategic arms control objectives because Russia and the United States did not ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II treaty or the 1997 protocols; (3) while the FY 2001 plan provides a better picture of State's intended performance in that it covers a more complete range of activities that State plans to undertake to achieve this goal, some of the performance goals and measures identified do not provide valid measures of progress; (4) State made some progress toward its desired outcome of expanding foreign markets; (5) the total level of U.S. exports was attained, and several bilateral investment treaties were signed or under negotiation; (6) however, treaties were not signed with two targeted countries that are considered important markets to the United States; (7) the FY 2001 performance plan contains many more goals and measures, but some are not relevant to the overarching goal of opening foreign markets, and others are vague, making overall progress difficult to assess; (8) due to data limitations, State's progress in enhancing the ability of American citizens to travel and live abroad securely is inconclusive; (9) the FY 2001 plan provides a clearer, more complete set of goals and measures related to this key outcome, which includes passport issuance; (10) State's plan highlights why reducing international crime and availability or use of illegal drugs are important; (11) however, it does not clearly identify State's progress toward meeting its goals; (12) State's plan refers to using diplomatic pressures, enlisting cooperation, and developing new technologies as general ways to address reducing international terrorist attacks, especially on the United States and its citizens; (13) however, training is the only performance goal reported for this desired outcome, and none of State's training goals were fully met; (14) the FY 2001 plan more clearly identifies goals and measures for this outcome, but some may be difficult to quantify such as the status of U.S. policies in various international forums; (15) State's FY 1999 performance report addresses most of the 8 challenges GAO and State's Inspector General previously identified; and (16) with a few exceptions, GAO could not identify new goals, strategies, or measures in State's FY 2001 plan that address its major management challenges.