In fiscal year 2000, GAO achieved more than $23 billion in financial
benefits for the American taxpayer and recorded more than 700 actions
taken in response to our recommendations to improve how the federal
We also completed a number of major initiatives to improve the
way GAO itself operates, among them, our first strategic plan for the
21st century (PDF).
Based on input from the Congress and supplemented by our own expertise
and other outreach efforts, the plan established four strategic goals
for our agency.
Each of the four goals is supported
by a set of strategic objectives that guide GAO's work, as our framework diagram shows.
Charting Agencywide Performance
Our performance for the year exceeded all five of our
annual quantitative targets for financial benefits,
recommendations implemented, testimonies
given, and new recommendations made.
Under a separate management measure of timeliness, we achieved a 96-percent
success rate for delivering our products on time but fell short of our
idealistic 100-percent target. As for our 3-year qualitative performance
goals, we expect to meet or exceed all 94 by the end of fiscal year
For the trends in our annual
results since 1997, please see this chart, which
also provides 4-year rolling averages that serve to show those trends
without the effects of one-time or unusual circumstances and shifts
in congressional priorities and workloads.
Billion in Direct Financial Benefits Were Realized. These results
exceeded our target of $22 billion and were up from the previous year's
results of $20.1 billion.
achieve our financial benefits when our recommendations are implemented
to make government services more efficient, to improve the budgeting
and spending of tax dollars, and to strengthen the management of federal
financial benefits include budget reductions, costs avoided, resources
reallocated, and revenue enhancements.
it takes time for agencies to implement GAO's recommendations and
document savings, the financial benefits we report in a given year
may be based on work we performed in the current or previous years.
Examples of our work that generated financial benefits include the
to Prevent Fraud and Abuse in Medicare
of the F-22 Aircraft Program
Excess HUD Funding
Actions Were Taken to Improve Government Operations or Services. Our
results exceeded our target of 620 actions taken and were up from the
previous year's total of 607 actions taken.
These benefits represent improved government operations and
services. We measure these benefits by tabulating the number
of cases in which our recommendations have prompted federal
agencies or the Congress to take action.
The 788 actions reported for fiscal year 2000 include measures
to improve public safety and consumer protection, to establish
more effective and efficient government operations, and to safeguard
the nation's physical and information infrastructure.
Examples of our work that led to improved government operations
or services include the following:
Nursing Home Quality of Care
Improving Human Capital Practices
Strengthening Information Security
Percent of the Recommendations We Made 4 Years Ago Were Implemented.
Our results exceeded our target of 73 percent and were up from the previous
year's rate of 70 percent.
1,224 Recommendations Were Made During the Year.
Our results exceeded our target of 950 recommendations and were up from
the previous year's total of 940.
We measure our progress in improving the government's accountability,
operations, and services by tracking the percentage of recommendations
we made 4 years ago that have since been implemented. For example,
78 percent of the recommendations we made in fiscal year 1996 had
been implemented by the end of fiscal year 2000.
We use a 4-year interval because our historical data show that agencies
often need this time to take action on our recommendations. Implemented
recommendations correct the underlying causes of problems, weaknesses
in internal controls, failures to comply with laws or regulations,
or other matters impeding effective and efficient performance.
Testimonies Were Given Before the Congress. Our results exceeded
our target of 230 and were up from the previous year's total of 229
one of GAO's primary functions is to support the Congress in
carrying out its decision-making and oversight responsibilities,
the number of times our experts testify before congressional
panels each year is an indicator of our responsiveness and the
impact, importance, and value of our work.
fiscal year 2000, GAO witnesses testified before 104 different
congressional committees and subcommittees on a broad range
of topics, including arms control, health care, Social Security,
human capital, nuclear waste cleanup, wildfires, aviation
safety and security, international trade, computer security,
financial management reform, and budget issues.
Our investigations and analyses can lead to improved government performance
when we make recommendations to federal agencies. We recommend specific
actions to improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of federal
operations and aim to effect significant financial and other benefits
to taxpayers. We therefore track the number of recommendations contained
in the products we issue each year.
Percent of Our Products Were Delivered on Time. While our results
fell short of our idealistic target of 100-percent on-time delivery, we
delivered the vast majority of our products on time.
addition to the five performance measures already discussed, we monitor
timeliness through a management measure. For our work to be useful,
our congressional clients must have it on a timely basis. Therefore,
we compare actual product delivery dates with the dates we agreed to
with our clients. We set an idealistic target of 100 percent to emphasize
the importance we place on being responsive to our clients. Although
we did not meet this target--and we believe it will remain a challenge
because of our increasing workload and external factors beyond our control--we
will continue to emphasize timeliness. Fully implementing our new matrix
and risk management strategies should help improve our on-time delivery.
Percent of Our Qualitative Performance Goals Are on Track. As of the
end of fiscal year 2000, we expected to meet or exceed all 94 of our 3-year
performance goals, although progress toward some had been slowed because
we did not receive all the resources we requested. We will evaluate our
success at the end of fiscal year 2002.
94 qualitative performance goals lay out the key efforts and potential
outcomes we hope to achieve for each of our strategic objectives.
Our performance on these goals will meet expectations when
we provide information or make recommendations on the key efforts
when viewed collectively. Our performance will exceed expectations
when we provide information or make recommendations that congressional
decisionmakers and others use toward achieving the potential outcomes.
You will find links to our performance goals in the individual strategic
a more detailed discussion of our agencywide performance during fiscal
year 2000, please download the PDF
of the full-length version of this report.
Performance by Strategic Goal
To give a fuller picture of how we served the Congress in fiscal year
2000, the following sections discuss GAO's performance by strategic
Goal 1: Provide Timely, Quality Service to the Congress and the
Federal Government to Address Current and Emerging Challenges to the
Well-Being and Financial Security of the American People
Goal 2: Provide Timely, Quality Service to the Congress
and the Federal Government to Respond to Changing Security Threats
and the Challenges of Global Interdependence
Goal 3: Support the Transition to a More Results-Oriented and
Accountable Federal Government
Goal 4: Maximize the Value of GAO by Being a Model Organization
for the Federal Government