The Results Act:

Observations on GSA's Strategic Plan

T-GGD-98-14: Published: Oct 8, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 1997.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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GAO discussed its observations on the General Services Administration's (GSA) September 30, 1997, strategic plan.

GAO noted that: (1) GSA's April 1997 draft strategic plan contained all six components required by the Government Performance and Results Act; (2) however, the draft plan generally lacked clarity, context, descriptive information, and linkages among the components; (3) GSA has since made a number of improvements, and the six components now better achieve the purposes of the act; (4) however, additional improvements would strengthen the September 30 plan as it evolves over time; (5) the September 30 plan continues to have general goals and objectives that seem to be expressed in terms that may be challenging to translate into quantitative analysis; (6) the strategies component is an improvement over the prior version but would benefit from a more detailed discussion of how each goal will actually be accomplished; (7) although the external factors in the September 30 plan are clearer and provide more context, the factors are not clearly linked to the general goals and objectives; (8) the program evaluations component provides a listing of the various program evaluations that GSA used, but it does not include a required schedule of future evaluations; (9) although the plan does a much better job of setting forth GSA's statutory authorities, this addition could be further improved by linking the different authorities to either the general goals and objectives or the performance goals; (10) the plan also refers to three related areas--crosscutting issues, major management problems, and data reliability--but the discussion is limited and not as useful as it could be in articulating how these issues might affect successful accomplishment of goals and objectives; and (11) this is especially true for major management and data reliability problems, which can have a negative impact on measuring progress and achieving the goals.

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