Department of Health and Human Services:

Strategic Planning and Accountability Challenges

T-HEHS-98-96: Published: Feb 26, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1998.

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GAO discussed the challenges the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) faces in carrying out its mission effectively and cost-efficiently and in improving its accountability for the results of its efforts and its stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

GAO noted that: (1) considering the breadth and complexity of HHS' responsibilities, the size of its budget, and the importance of its programs, it is essential that HHS successfully and efficiently fulfill its mission; (2) HHS is committed to carrying out its programs efficiently, but problems have often been identified with HHS programs; (3) HHS deserves credit for its progress in complying with the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act; (4) the next critical stage in improving HHS' accountability for the public's investment in its programs will be to move from its strategic planning efforts to efficiently accomplishing its goals and objectives; and (5) successfully implementing HHS' plans will require vigilance by HHS and its agencies as well as continued congressional oversight.

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