Defense Infrastructure:

Improved Performance Measures Would Enhance Defense Reform Initiative

NSIAD-99-169: Published: Aug 4, 1999. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1999.


David R. Warren
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Defense Reform Initiative (DRI), focusing on: (1) the types of performance measures used to track progress toward achieving DRI program goals; (2) opportunities to add or improve on existing performance measures; and (3) performance measurement limitations.

GAO noted that: (1) DRI initiatives are assessed largely through output performance measures that provide an indication of the status of implementation; (2) as the Department of Defense (DOD) continues its efforts to reform its business processes, opportunities exist to increase the emphasis on outcome measures that would help it better assess results of the initiatives individually and collectively; (3) however, credible financial and other performance data needed to establish more outcome-oriented measures are not available in some areas; and (4) the fact that DOD does not have adequate cost systems continues to impair its ability to develop reliable cost-based performance measures.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should incorporate additional outcome oriented measures for initiatives under each of the three DRI pillars that focus on reforming business processes and achieving infrastructure reductions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has developed additional output and outcome-oriented performance measures for many of the initiatives included in the Defense Reform Initiative. Defense officials believe this satisfies GAO's recommendation, and the measures will provide senior leadership with adequate information to gauge the success of the program.

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