Comments on the FY 1977 Report of the Forest Service in Connection With the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act

PAD-79-34: Published: May 22, 1979. Publicly Released: May 22, 1979.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the 1977 annual report of the Forest Service to determine if the report met legislative requirements. The 1978 annual report was also considered.

The Forest Service's annual reports could be improved by relating accomplishments to specific activities performed in each program, comparing these accomplishments to goals previously set forth, and evaluating the benefits of the accomplishments against the costs of each program activity. The annual report is not presently prepared as an integral part of program planning, budgeting, and management. Meaningful program evaluation and cost-benefit reporting will only be achieved when this information assumes an essential role in management reporting processes. The annual report should be a logical byproduct of such an ongoing process. However, the Forest Service programs are complex multiobjective programs that may very well tax the current state of program evaluation.

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