The Results Act:

Observations on USAID's Fiscal Year 1999 Annual Performance Plan

NSIAD-98-194R: Published: Jun 25, 1998. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1998.

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Benjamin F. Nelson
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. Agency for International Development's (AID) annual performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999, focusing on: (1) the extent to which the agency's performance plan provides a clear picture of intended performance across the agency; (2) how well the agency's performance plan discusses the strategies and resources the agency will use to achieve its performance goals; and (3) the extent to which the agency's performance plan provides confidence that its performance information will be credible.

GAO noted that: (1) AID's FY 1999 annual performance plan provides a partial picture of the agency's intended performance; (2) however, many of the goals and measures are so broadly defined that it will be difficult to assess the results of AID's activities; (3) the goals and measures often reflect the expected collective performance of the international donor community and do not clearly define AID's contribution; (4) AID's performance plan partially discusses how the agency's strategies and resources will help achieve its goals; (5) the plan does not provide much detail on the strategies AID will undertake or the external factors involved; (6) furthermore, the plan provides limited information on the resources it will employ; (7) AID's performance plan provides some confidence that its performance information will be credible; (8) however, the plan only partially addresses efforts to verify and validate performance information; (9) the plan identifies some significant data limitations and their implications for assessing the achievement of performance goals; and (10) missing from AID's performance plan is a discussion of the reliability of performance information that AID will rely on to demonstrate the relationship between its activities and the measures cited in the plan.

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