The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designed the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) as a diagnostic tool to draw on program performance and evaluation information for forming conclusions about program benefits and recommending adjustments to improve results. To assess progress in improving the evidence base for PART assessments, GAO was requested to examine (1) agencies' progress in responding to OMB's recommendations to evaluate programs, (2) factors facilitating or impeding agencies' progress, and (3) whether agencies' evaluations appear to be designed to yield the information on program results that OMB expects.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||OMB should encourage agencies to discuss their plans for program evaluations--especially those in response to an OMB recommendation--with OMB and with congressional and other program stakeholders to ensure that their findings will be timely, relevant, and credible and that they will be used to inform policy and management decisions.|
|Office of Management and Budget||OMB should engage in dialogue with agencies and congressional stakeholders on a risk-based allocation of scarce evaluation resources among programs, based on size, importance, or uncertain effectiveness, and on the timing of such evaluations.|
|Office of Management and Budget||OMB should continue to improve its PART guidance and training of examiners on evaluation to acknowledge a wide range of appropriate methods.|