Managing for Results:

Observations on OMB's September 1997 Strategic Plan

T-AIMD/GGD-98-10: Published: Oct 6, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 1997.

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Paul L. Posner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed how well the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) strategic plan addresses the Government Performance and Results Act's requirements and some of the challenges remaining for OMB to address in future planning efforts.

GAO noted that: (1) since its July 1997 draft, OMB has made changes to the plan based on its continuing planning efforts, congressional consultations, and comments from others; (2) overall, OMB's September 1997 plan addresses all required elements of the Results Act and reflects several of the enhancements GAO suggested in its review of the July draft; (3) specific improvements include: (a) goals and objectives that show a clearer results-orientation; (b) more clearly defined strategies for achieving these goals and objectives; and (c) an increased recognition of some of the crosscutting issues OMB needs to address; (4) however, additional enhancements to several of the plan's required elements and a fuller discussion of major management challenges confronting the federal government could help make the plan more useful to the Congress and OMB; (5) for example, the plan could provide a more explicit discussion of OMB's strategies on such subjects as information technology, high-risk issues, overlap among federal missions and programs, and strengthening program evaluation; (6) OMB's strategic plan indicates that the agency will use its annual performance plan, the governmentwide performance plan, other functional management plans, and the President's Budget to provide additional information about how it plans to address some of these and other critical management issues; (7) GAO will continue to review OMB's plans and proposals as additional detail concerning objectives, time frames, and priorities is established; and (8) GAO's intention is to apply an integrated perspective in looking at these plans, consistent with the intent of the Results Act, to ensure that OMB achieves the results expected by its statutory authorities.

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