Veterans' Employment and Training Service:

Assessment of the Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Plan

HEHS-98-240R: Published: Sep 30, 1998. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1998.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) performance plan for fiscal year 1999, focusing on: (1) the extent to which the plan provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency; (2) how well the plan discusses the strategies VETS will use to achieve its performance goals; and (3) the extent to which VETS performance plan provides confidence that its performance information will be credible.

GAO noted that: (1) considering that this is the first performance plan that VETS has produced, the plan contains a great deal of useful information to inform Congress about VETS' intended performance; (2) GAO expects that as VETS gains experience, future performance plans will build upon this initial effort and become increasingly useful to Congress and the public; (3) some particular strengths of the current performance plan are the extent to which it reflects VETS' mission in its strategic goals, which are linked with the Department of Labor's (DOL) strategic goals, and its acknowledgment that many other agencies within DOL and outside DOL are important to achieving its goals; (4) however, a number of refinements could be made to VETS' 1999 annual performance plan to clarify its goals; (5) specifically, while the performance plan outlined a goal for all but one of VETS' activities, many of the goals are not quantifiable in 1999 and others are redundant or ambiguous; (6) in addition, the plan provides little information about detailed strategies the agency intends to use to achieve its goals; and (7) the plan provides little confidence that its performance information will be credible because so much of the data to be used have not yet been developed.

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