Results Act:

NSF's Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 1999

RCED-98-192R: Published: May 19, 1998. Publicly Released: May 19, 1998.

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Victor S. Rezendes
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Science Foundation's (NSF) annual performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999, focusing on the: (1) extent to which the plan provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency; (2) strategies and the resources NSF will use to achieve its performance goals; and (3) extent to which the plan provides confidence that NSF's performance information will be credible.

GAO noted that: (1) NSF's performance plan for FY 1999: (a) partially addresses annual performance issues across the agency; (b) partially discusses how the agency's strategies and resources will help it achieve its goals; and (c) partially provides confidence that its performance information is credible; (2) the strengths of the plan are that it does a good job of describing performance expectations for the agency's scientific research and education programs, discussing how the agency's strategies and resources will help achieve scientific research and education goals, and providing some confidence that the agency's performance information for these programs will be credible; (3) however, the plan contains several weaknesses; (4) these weaknesses are related to areas that needed further attention in NSF's first strategic plan prepared under the Government Performance and Results Act; and (5) in addition, the plan does not present sufficient information on strategies, nonfinancial resources needed to achieve annual goals, and data verification and validation for management and other important activities that support NSF's programs--to explain the agency's expectations and needs in these areas.

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