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598CG entitled 'Measuring the Performance of Audit Organizations: GAO's 
Evolving Experiences' which was released on April 3, 2007. 

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United States Government Accountability Office: 

Measuring the Performance of Audit Organizations: 

GAO's Evolving Experiences: 

The Honorable David M. Walker: 
Comptroller General of the United States: 

19th UN/INTOSAI Seminar: 
Vienna, Austria: 

March 28-30, 2007: 

Presentation Outline: 

The importance of performance measures and targets for the United 
States government: 

How GAO assesses its performance: 

Why performance measures and targets are important for all SAls: 

Upcoming seminars: 

Why are Performance Indicators Critical for the U.S. Government? 

Federal spending expected to exceed $2.7 trillion: 

federal revenues reduced by more than $800 billion in tax preferences: 

Agencies produce reams of regulations: 

Most federal government policies and programs were created years ago: 

The U.S. has no key national indicators: 

GAO's Performance: 

Compared with a set of standards: 

* Yellow Book and GAO policies/performance indicators: 

Examined overtime: 

* Annually, 5-year trend, rolling averages: 

Assessed by peer group: 

* Peer reviews of our performance and financial auditing practices: 

Compared with A Set of Standards: GAO's Audit Practices: 

Our annual internal inspection program: 

indicates whether we are conducting our engagements according to the 
Yellow Book and GAO policies: 

identifies audit practice improvements and best practices: 

uses GAO managers as inspectors of engagements they did not work on: 

Internal inspection findings for engagements completed-in CY 2005: 

* GAO's engagement teams materially followed key controls necessary to 
assure quality audit products: 

* No instances where work was unreliable or contained material errors: 

Internal inspection for CY 2006 engagements - currently in process: 

GAO's Performance Measures: 

Internal Operations: 

Source: GAO. 

Results Measures: 

Outcome Measures: 

* Financial benefits: 

* Nonfinancial benefits: 

"Pipeline" Measures: 

* Past recommendations implemented: 

*  New products with recommendations: 

* Congressional testimonies: 

Measures: Financial benefits(dollars in billions); 
Actual 2003: $35.4; 
Actual 2004: $44.0; 
Actual 2005: $39.6; 
Actual 2006: $51.0*; 
Target 2007: $40.0. 

Measures: Nonfinancial benefits; 
Actual 2003: 1,043; 
Actual 2004: 1,197; 
Actual 2005: 1,409; 
Actual 2006: 1,342; 
Target 2007: 1,100. 

Measures: Past recommendations implemented; 
Actual 2003: 82%; 
Actual 2004: 83%; 
Actual 2005: 85%; 
Actual 2006: 82%; 
Target 2007: 80%. 

Measures: New products with recommendations; 
Actual 2003: 55%; 
Actual 2004: 63%; 
Actual 2005: 63%; 
Actual 2006: 65%; 
Target 2007: 60%. 

* $51 billion in financial benefits represents a $105 return on every 
dollar the Congress invested in us. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

Major Selected Financial Benefits in Fiscal Year 2006: 

* Ensured monetary benefits from federal spectrum auctions for 
licensing commercial wireless communications services: $6.1 billion: 

* Reduced unobligated funds in the military services' operations and 
maintenance budget: $3.9 billion: 

* Recommended payment method that cut Medicare costs for durable 
medical equipment and other devices: $2.9 billion: 

* Helped to ensure that retirement-related benefits for postal service 
workers would be funded: $2.2 billion: 

Nonfinancial Benefits: Selected Public Laws GAO Contributed to in FY 

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-171: 

* Strengthening the integrity of the federal health program for the 

* Improving oversight of states' performance under the federal welfare 

* Improving oversight of schools that serve as lenders of funds for 
educational loans: 

Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006, 
Pub. L. 109-239: 

Our Evolving Audit Work - Positive Impact on Outcome Measures: 

Early focus on financial auditing: 

* Result: greater awareness/accountability; some financial benefits: 

* Indicator: ability to identify fraud, waste, and abuse: 

Increased expertise in performance auditing: 

* Result: significant financial and nonfinancial benefits: 

* Indicator: ability to enhance the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, 
ethics, and equity of federal government: 

Accountability Organization Maturity Model: 


[See PDF for Image] 

Pyramid designed figure, beginning with with facilitating foresight at 
the top and cascading down. 

Facilitating Foresight: 

Increasing Insight: 

Enhancing Economy Efficiency, Ethics, Equity, and Effectiveness: 

Assuring Accountability: 

Combating Corruption: 

Source: GAO. 

[End of figure] 

Client Measures: 

To judge how well we serve our client we: 

count the number of congressional hearings where we are asked to 

determine whether our products were delivered in a timely manner: 

Client Measure: Testimonies: 

[see PDF for Image] 

Bar graph. 

Actual 2003: 189; 
Actual 2004: 217; 
Actual 2005: 179; 
Actual 2006: 240; 
Target 2007: 185. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of figure] 

Examples of Issues on which GAO Testified in FY 2006: 

* Strategy to rebuild Iraq; 
* Reducing the tax gap; 
* Hurricane Katrina response/recovery; 
* Improper payments; 
* Long-term fiscal challenges; 
* Immigration enforcement at worksites; 
* Defense acquisition practices;  
* Federal crop insurance; 
* Information security; 
* Passenger rail security; 
* Nursing home care for veterans; 
* Worldwide AIDS relief; 
* United Nations procurement controls; 
* Pay for federal executives and judges. 

[End of table] 

Client Measure: Timeliness: 

Delivering our products when our clients need them increases the 
chances that our work will be used: 

Our electronic client feedback survey helps us determine whether 
requesters of our work believe they received our testimonies and 
significant written products on time: 

Client Measure: Timeliness: 

[See PDF for Image] 

Bar graph. 

Actual 2003: N/A; 
Actual 2004: 89; 
Actual 2005: 90; 
Actual 2006: 92; 
Target 2007: 95. 

Source: GAO. 

N/A - Not applicable: 

[End of figure] 

Client Measure: Timeliness: 

FY 2004 - Began collecting actual data on our clients' satisfaction 
with the timeliness of our products: 

* Previous measure - % of products issued by the date we agreed to with 
the requester: 

FY 2006 - client satisfaction is high, but survey response rate is low 

We also supplement our client measures with direct feedback: 

The Comptroller General's discussions with congressional Leadership and 

Continuous outreach to congressional committees by GAO team leaders and 
Congressional Relations staff: 

People Measures: 

Indicate how well we are: 

* attracting and retaining staff: 

* developing, using, leading, and listening to staff: 

People Measures: Attracting and Retaining Staff: 

Measures: New hire rate; 
Actual 2003: 98%; 
Actual 2004: 98%; 
Actual 2005: 94%; 
Actual 2006: 94%;  
Target 2007: 95%. 

Measures: Acceptance rate; 
Actual 2003: 72%; 
Actual 2004: 72%; 
Actual 2005: 71%; 
Actual 2006: 70%; 
Target 2007: 72%. 

Measures: Retention rate with retirements; 
Actual 2003: 92%; 
Actual 2004: 90%; 
Actual 2005: 90%; 
Actual 2006: 90%; 
Target 2007: 90%. 

Measures: Retention rate without retirements; 
Actual 2003: 96%; 
Actual 2004: 95%; 
Actual 2005: 94%; 
Actual 2006: 94%; 
Target 2007: 94%. 

Source: Information from an external database that handles GAO's 
payroll and personnel data. 

[End of table] 

People Measures: Developing, Using, Leading, & Listening to Staff: 

Measure: Staff development; 
2003 Actual: 67%; 
2004 Actual: 70%; 
2005 Actual: 72%; 
2006 Actual: 76%; 
2007 Target: 75%. 

Measure: Staff utilization; 
2003 Actual: 71%; 
2004 Actual: 72%; 
2005 Actual: 75%; 
2006 Actual: 75%; 
2007 Target: 78%. 

Measure: Leadership; 
2003 Actual: 78%; 
2004 Actual: 79%; 
2005 Actual: 80%; 
2006 Actual: 79%; 
2007 Target: 80%. 

Measure: Organizational climate; 
2003 Actual: 71%; 
2004 Actual: 74%; 
2005 Actual: 76%; 
2006 Actual: 73%; 
2007 Target: 76%. 

Source: Responses to questions from our annual employee feedback 

[End of table] 

Internal Operations Measures: 

Indicate how well our internal operations help staff: 

* do their jobs: 

* improve their work lives: 

Help us to continuously improve GAO's business and management 

Internal Operations Measures: 

Measures: Help get job done; 
2003 Actual: 3.98; 
2004 Actual: 4.01; 
2005 Actual: 4.10; 
2006 Actual: 4.10; 
2007 Target:  4.0. 

Measures: Quality of work life; 
2003 Actual: 3.86; 
2004 Actual: 3.96; 
2005 Actual: 3.98; 
2006 Actual: 4.0; 
2007 Target:  4.0. 

Source: Responses to our annual customer satisfaction survey. GAO staff 
were asked to rate 21work-related services and 10 quality of work life 
areas on a 5-point scale. Baseline data reported in 2003 and 2004. 

[End of table] 

Assessed by Our Peers: GAO's Performance Audit Practices: 

An external team of international auditors reviewed our 2004 
performance auditing practices and process controls: 


* GAO's quality control system was suitably designed and operating 
effectively for 2004: 

* Other national government audit offices should emulate several GAO 

Next peer review - examine our practices for engagements completed in 

Assessed by Our Peers: GAO's Financial Audit Practices: 

An external team of experienced auditors: 

* reviewed our financial auditing practices for 2004 and 6 selected 
financial audit engagements: 

* followed applicable AICPA peer review standards and government 
auditing standards: 

* tested compliance with GAO's financial management quality control 
policies and procedures: 

* concluded that the 2004 quality control system for financial audits 
was designed to meet standards: 

Performance Indicators Are Important for All SAls: 

SAIs must strive to develop indicators that: 

* help to determine their strength and value: 

* are consistent with the SAI's mission: 

* help to gauge progress towards SAI goals: 

* include output and outcome metrics: 

* are reexamined periodically for relevance: 

* promote economy, efficiency, effectiveness, ethics, and equity: 

Upcoming Key Seminars in 2007: 

UN - Vienna, Austria, June: 

OECD - Istanbul, Turkey, June:

INCOSAI - Mexico City, Mexico, November: 

GAO/World Bank/INTOSAI - Washington, DC, November: 

On the Web: 

Web site: [Hyperlink,]: 


Paul Anderson, Managing Director, Public Affairs AndersonP1 
(202) 512-4800: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 441 G Street NW, Room 7149 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 


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