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GAO reviewed the Department of Commerce's implementation of total quality management (TQM). GAO noted that: (1) 74 percent of the Commerce facilities surveyed are implementing various phases of TQM; (2) as Commerce invested more time and effort in TQM activities, TQM implementation matured; (3) over half of the responding Commerce facilities reported positive benefits from TQM, but 40 percent felt it was too soon to judge the impact of TQM; (4) reported benefits increased as maturity increased; and (5) 9 of 21 potential barriers to TQM were moderate to very major problems for 39 percent of the total federal respondents.

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