Observations on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Fiscal Year 1999 Annual Performance Plan
RCED-98-207R: Published: Jun 1, 1998. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1998.
GAO reviewed the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999, focusing on whether the: (1) agency's performance plan provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency; (2) performance plan discusses the strategies and resources the agency will use to achieve its performance plan; and (3) agency's performance plan provides confidence that its performance information will be credible.
GAO noted that: (1) FEMA's FY 1999 performance plan: (a) provides a partial picture of intended performance across the agency; (b) does not fully portray how FEMA's strategies and resources will help it achieve the plan's performance goals; and (c) could more fully provide confidence that the information FEMA will use to assess its performance will be accurate, complete, and credible; (2) FEMA's performance plan has a clear structure, reflects the agency's mission statement and is well-linked to the strategic goals outlined in the agency's strategic plan, includes annual performance goals or indicators that are quantifiable, includes outcome goals when possible, and briefly describes the agency's strategies for accomplishing its performance goals; (3) to be more useful for the purposes of the Government Performance and Results Act, the plan should more thoroughly discuss FEMA's efforts and plans to coordinate with other agencies whose programs and activities complement FEMA's, identify more of the external factors that could affect the agency's ability to achieve its performance goals and discuss actions that FEMA can take to mitigate the effects of these factors, more explicitly link the annual performance goals to program activities in FEMA's budget, discuss whether any significant limitations affect the credibility of the agency's data that will be used to measure performance, and more fully describe FEMA's procedures for verifying and validating performance data; (4) the quality of FEMA's performance plan closely reflects the quality of the agency's strategic plan issued on September 30, 1997; (5) like the strategic plan, the performance plan does not fully identify the external factors that could affect the agency's ability to achieve its performance goals or discuss how achieving the goals could be influenced by these factors; (6) there is also little evidence that FEMA coordinated the performance plan with those agencies whose programs and activities complement FEMA's; and (7) the performance plan does not discuss the specific resources required to develop the proposed measurement processes and data, raising the issue of whether FEMA's financial and information management systems will have the capacity to generate sufficiently reliable information to monitor the agency's progress toward its goals.