Results Act:

Observations on CFTC's Strategic Plan

T-GGD-98-17: Published: Oct 22, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) strategic plan for compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act.

GAO noted that: (1) CFTC's strategic plan contained all of the major components required by the Results Act; (2) there are several areas in which CFTC could improve its plan; (3) the plan defines goals and objectives that supported CFTC's mission, but most of these could benefit by being restated in a way that would facilitate future assessment; (4) the plan identifies activities for achieving CFTC's goals and objectives, but could be more informative by including the resources needed for the activities, schedules for completing key actions, and ways for assigning accountability to managers and staff; (5) the plan's discussion of the relationship between goals in the annual and strategic plans could be strengthened by including more results-oriented performance measures that could be used to reflect progress made toward achieving its goals; (6) the plan identifies some key external factors that could affect the agency's ability to achieve its goals, but the plan could be improved by describing how such factors are linked to particular goals and how a particular goal can be affected by a specific factor; (7) the plan indicates that CFTC will use its existing processes to evaluate its programs, but the plan could be expanded to include information on the timing and scope of future evaluations; (8) the draft plan was made available to stakeholders late in the process and reflects limited consultation with stakeholders during plan development; (9) the plan does not discuss how CFTC will incorporate stakeholders' views in the development of future plans, and (10) although developing performance measures and measuring program impacts present challenges to CFTC and to other regulatory agencies in addressing the requirements of the Results Act, it is important that CFTC and these agencies continue their efforts toward that end.

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