Service to the Public:

How Effective and Responsive Is the Government?

T-HRD-91-26: Published: May 8, 1991. Publicly Released: May 8, 1991.

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GAO discussed the effectiveness of federal government programs, focusing on: (1) how well the government carried out its responsibilities; and (2) whether established programs and policies continued to meet the public's needs. GAO noted that: (1) neither Congress nor the agencies had defined the level of service they expected to provide to the public; (2) detailed program evaluations were often unavailable; (3) agency data systems did not provide adequate management information; (4) reliable financial information was not available; (5) government agencies and their leaders needed to establish such basic management structures as sound financial management systems, strategic planning processes, and effective management information systems that endure over time and become effective management foundations; and (6) most agencies lacked stable leadership to guide long-term planning and mission setting.

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