Results Act:

Observations on DOE's Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 1999

RCED-98-194R: Published: May 28, 1998. Publicly Released: May 28, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Energy's (DOE) annual performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999, focusing on: (1) the extent to which DOE's performance plan provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency; (2) how well the performance plan discusses strategies and resources that DOE will use to achieve its performance goals; and (3) the extent to which DOE's performance plan provides confidence that its performance information will be credible.

GAO noted that: (1) DOE's performance plan for FY 1999 partially: (a) addresses annual performance issues across DOE; (b) discusses how DOE's strategies and resources will help achieve DOE's performance goals; and (c) provides confidence that its performance information is credible; (2) one of the plan's strengths is that its annual goals and measures cover mission-critical management problems and issues; (3) in addition, the annual performance plan contains a mission statement and strategic goals, as identified in DOE's strategic plan; (4) however, GAO believes that opportunities exist to improve the performance plan; (5) these opportunities include providing a clearer picture of intended performance departmentwide by enhancing the annual goals to better define expected performance, specifying further how the annual performance goals and the structure of DOE's program activities described in its budget are related, and describing how DOE plans to coordinate with other agencies having similar strategic or performance goals; (6) DOE should also elaborate more on how its strategies and resources will help achieve its goals by showing more clearly how its strategies are related to the annual performance goals and should discuss the resources it will need to achieve them; and (7) in addition, DOE could increase the validity of its performance information by elaborating further on how DOE will help ensure that its performance information is sufficiently complete, accurate, and consistent--specifically, by identifying significant data limitations and their implications for assessing the achievement of its performance goals.

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