Defense Infrastructure:

Improved Performance Measures Would Enhance Defense Reform Initiative

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

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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.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. 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.

    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


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