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Improving the economy and efficiency of federal programs has long been a key objective of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). To this end, GAO held a workshop on December 17, 2004, to discuss the use of economic analysis, such as benefit cost or cost effectiveness, for helping to measure the performance of federal programs. The workshop's purpose was to discuss the present state of economic performance measures and identify gaps in their application and the barriers and analytical issues that limit their use in helping assess the performance of federal programs and identify opportunities for the federal government and professional and academic institutions to improve (1) the use of economic performance measures for evaluating federal programs and (2) the general economic principles and guidance on which economic performance analysis is based.

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