This report reviews the Department of Education's performance report for fiscal year 2000. Specifically, GAO examines Education's progress in achieving selected key outcomes that are important to its mission. Given the lack of performance data, explanations, and strategies to meet unmet goals in the future, it was difficult for GAO to assess progress. The lack of a performance plan also hindered GAO's efforts. Specifically, GAO found that it was difficult to assess Education's progress in achieving the six selected outcomes because of the lack of fiscal year 2000 data for many of its indicators. Consistent with its findings in reviewing Education's performance report from last year, GAO found that Education had no goals or measures for preventing fraud, waste, mismanagement, and error in the student financial assistance programs. Although the Office of Student Financial Assistance has established a target of being removed from GAO's high-risk list, there were no corresponding goals or measures in the department's interim report. However, Education has revised its strategic plan to incorporate an objective of ensuring financial integrity within the department. Like last year's report, GAO found that there was no discussion in the interim report on strategic human capital management.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Education||1. To improve Education's future performance reports and plans, the Secretary of Education should initiate a dialogue with the appropriate congressional committees to discuss the lack of annual reporting data and what this means with respect to how management at the department is most appropriately assessed and how Education could be more responsive to Congress fulfilling its annual Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 reporting requirements.|
|Department of Education||2. To improve Education's future performance reports and plans, the Secretary of Education should develop performance goals and measures to address the outcome of less fraud, waste, mismanagement, and error in student financial assistance programs.|
|Department of Education||3. To improve Education's future performance reports and plans, the Secretary of Education should develop specific goals and measures to be included in future performance reports and plans to address the issue of strategic human capital management.|