The Results Act:

Observations on Draft Strategic Plans of Five Financial Regulatory Agencies

T-GGD-97-164: Published: Jul 29, 1997. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1997.

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Jean G. Stromberg
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the draft strategic plans of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, and the National Credit Union Administration.

GAO noted that: (1) on the basis of its review of the draft plans, GAO found that each plan contained most of the components required by the Government Performance and Results Act; (2) three of the draft plans had all six components, and two draft plans had five of the components; (3) GAO's analysis of individual plan components showed that the plans had mission statements that broadly defined the purpose of the agency and goals and objectives that were somewhat results-oriented; (4) some agencies had useful discussions of approaches and strategies to achieve the goals and objectives, while others could have benefited from more discussion of the resources needed; (5) each agency discussed key external factors but only one discussed how those factors would affect the achievement of its goals; (6) none of the draft plans discussed how the external factors would be addressed; (7) in general, two sections were most in need of improvement; (8) each agency could strengthen its section on the relationship between strategic and annual goals by explicitly discussing the link between the two types of goals; (9) also, each agency could improve its section on how program evaluations were used and a schedule for future evaluations; (10) because of the complex set of factors that determine regulatory outcomes, measuring the impact of a regulator agency's programs will be a difficult challenge going forward; and (11) however, the use of program evaluations both to derive results-oriented goals and to measure the extent those goals are achieved is an important part of the process.

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