HUD's Evaluation System:

An Assessment

PAD-78-44: Published: Jul 20, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1978.

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To efficiently and effectively carry out its operations, each federal agency should establish and maintain adequate internal control systems. Evaluation has been described as one of the most useful tools available to federal officials in addressing policy questions, deciding on policies and programs, and providing information on the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and programs. An evaluation system's overall effectiveness depends on how well the components of the system specify program objectives and measures of effectiveness, plan and coordinate evaluation activities, design and conduct evaluation studies, and disseminate and use evaluation results.

Although the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made strides in the area of evaluation, it is not realizing its full potential for providing decisionmakers with information on whether programs and activities are meeting their objectives. Although most HUD program evaluations describe program activity, they are not aimed at assessing progress toward the programs' goals. Performance evaluations had no established guidelines for measuring efficiency and effectiveness, and internal audits were only minimally concerned with assessing program effectiveness. Although little duplication was evident, many program evaluations did not address major program issues, internal audits were primarily concerned with compliance and economy and efficiency, and HUD research and technology budget did not accurately show the resources spent on evaluating ongoing programs. Many program evaluations were research oriented and not designed to determine programs' achievements or objectives. In some cases, there were few or no mechanisms for ensuring that evaluation products were accurate and reasonable.

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