Department of Defense:

Status of Achieving Outcomes and Addressing Major Management Challenges

GAO-01-783: Published: Jun 25, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2001.

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Charles I. Patton, Jr
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This report reviews the Department of Defense's (DOD) fiscal year 2000 performance report required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and assesses the Department's progress in achieving selected outcomes that were identified as important mission areas for DOD. GAO found that shortfalls in DOD's current strategies and measures for several outcomes have led to difficulties in assessing performance in areas such as combat readiness, support infrastructure reduction, force structure needs, and the matching of resources to program spending plans. DOD's fiscal year 2002 performance plan, which has yet to be issued, provides DOD with the opportunity to address these shortfalls. On the basis of last year's analysis of DOD's fiscal year 1999 performance report and fiscal year 2001 performance plan, GAO recommended that the Department include more qualitative and quantitative goals and measures in its annual performance plan and report to gauge progress toward achieving mission outcomes. DOD has not as yet fully implemented this recommendation. GAO continues to believe that the Secretary of Defense should adopt this recommendation as it updates its strategic plan and prepares its next annual performance plan. By doing so, DOD can ensure that its strategies are tied to desired mission outcomes and are well thought-out for resolving ongoing problems, achieving its goals and objectives, and becoming more cost and results oriented.

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