District of Columbia:

FY 2003 Performance Report Shows Continued Improvements

GAO-04-940R: Published: Jul 7, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2004.

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Patricia A. Dalton
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This is the fifth consecutive year that we have reviewed the District of Columbia's performance accountability report as mandated by the Federal Payment Reauthorization Act of 1994. The act requires the Mayor of the District of Columbia to submit to the Congress a performance accountability plan containing a statement of measurable and objective performance goals for the coming fiscal year for all significant activities of the District government. After the end of the fiscal year, the District is to submit a performance accountability report on the extent to which the District achieved these goals. This requirement for the District government is similar to the requirements for executive branch federal agencies under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). GAO's report focuses on the continued progress the District has made in performance reporting. Specifically, the objectives of this report were to (1) examine the extent to which the performance accountability report is in compliance with statutory requirements, and (2) summarize some of the District's other significant performance management initiatives and identify additional opportunities for improvement.

The District of Columbia's Fiscal Year 2003 Performance Accountability Report generally complied with the statutory reporting requirements and provided a comprehensive review of the District's performance. In general, the act required the District to provide performance goals for all significant activities of the District government in its proposed budget and financial plan. Then, at the end of the fiscal year, the District is required to report on its actual performance for each goal. First, the District provided a statement of the actual level of performance achieved compared to each of the goals stated in the performance accountability plan for the year for almost all significant activities. Second, the District provided the title of the management employee most directly responsible for the achievement of each goal and the title of the employee's immediate supervisor or superior for almost all significant activities. Finally, the District provided a statement of the status of significant court orders applicable to the government of the District of Columbia during the year and the steps it took to comply with such orders. In summarizing some of the District's performance management initiatives, we found that the 2003 performance report provided an update on the expansion and implementation of several performance management programs. The District reported on the expansion of the performance-based budgeting program to 27 additional agencies. The District also reported plans to expand the recommendations and court orders tracking system to begin tracking cost of implementing recommendations and court orders. In addition, the District reported plans to implement an online budgeting and performance program to link agency budgeting and performance reporting.

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