Observations on the Department of Defense's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan

NSIAD-00-188R: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) fiscal year (FY) 1999 performance report and FY 2001 performance plan required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

GAO noted that: (1) the extent to which DOD has achieved the key program outcomes is not completely clear in its FY 1999 performance report and FY 2001 performance plan; (2) maintaining technological superiority in key warfighting capabilities is continuous by nature but can be assessed at a given point in time; (3) however, DOD's measures do not do this, nor do the performance report and plan provide a full qualitative assessment of the extent of progress toward the goal; (4) the report and plan include measures for procurement spending, the results of peer reviews of technology objectives, and the number of joint experiments conducted; (5) DOD did not meet its goal for military forces that are adequate in number, well qualified, and highly motivated; (6) it was able to recruit 92.5 percent of the enlisted military personnel it stated that it needed; (7) to improve the results of its recruiting efforts, DOD is increasing advertising and the number of recruiters and authorized increasing enlistment bonuses and college funds to the statutory maximum; (8) it has also targeted recent changes in benefits and reenlistment incentives toward increasing first-term and second-term reenlistments; (9) DOD's performance report and plan did not include a full assessment of its efforts to develop military personnel and to maintain high motivation in the military forces; (10) DOD's combat readiness outcome is aimed at being ready to fight and win two major theater wars or to conduct multiple operations other than war; (11) however, its performance report and plan do not provide a complete picture of the forces and performance required to accomplish this and whether the outcome is being achieved; (12) DOD's performance report and plan do not provide a completely clear picture of the extent to which infrastructure and operating procedures are more efficient and cost-effective; (13) DOD is making some progress on its infrastructure streamlining efforts; (14) DOD has the lead responsibility for aerial and maritime detection and monitoring of illegal drug shipments to the United States and provides assistance and training to foreign governments to combat drug-trafficking; (15) however, its performance plan and report included no goals, measures, or assessment related to its results in efficiently and effectively reducing the availability and use of illegal drugs; and (16) DOD's performance report and plan contain no goals, measures, or assessment on whether it is achieving a reduction in erroneous payments to contractors.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In a letter dated June 16, 2000, the DOD Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation provided written comments on a draft of this report. DOD agreed that its future performance reports and plans could be enhanced. In March 2003, DOD published its fiscal year 2002 performance report, and 2004 performance plan as part of its Annual Defense Report (ADR). By including the performance report and plan as part of the ADR, DOD is able to include a more comprehensive description of outcomes through its risk management framework. The ADR describes DOD's new defense strategy, a risk management framework based on DOD's 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review, and how DOD defines, structures, and supports major defense missions. This provides an executive-level overview of how the Secretary of Defense manages performance to achieve the outcomes required by the defense strategy. The ADR also includes summary descriptions of performance metrics (both qualitative and quantitative) and targets, target status, statements of verification and validation, and a description of results for fiscal year 2002. Additionally, DOD included a new metric to provide explicit guidance for budget and performance integration.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should enhance the Department's FY 2002 performance plan and FY 2000 performance report by considering additional qualitative and quantitative information in the areas cited by GAO's analysis.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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