Government Operations:

Program Evaluation Issues

OCG-93-6TR: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the need for sound, evaluative information on how federal programs are operating and what they are actually accomplishing.

GAO found that: (1) program evaluations contribute systematic information to federal decisionmaking; (2) between 1984 and 1988, there was a 12-percent decline in the number of professional staff in agency program evaluation units; (3) funds for program evaluation dropped 37 percent between 1980 and 1984; (4) program implementation evaluations help agencies understand why their outreach may not be successful and the barriers to overcome before participation can increase; and (5) some agencies have conducted evaluation studies, but the information produced is either flawed or improperly used for budget policy.

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