Agencies receive lackluster grades on performance reports

Most agencies' fiscal 1999 performance reports fail to explain how well they are accomplishing their missions, according to a new round of grades released by Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.

Agencies' reports were graded on how well they explained and delivered on their performance results, progress made in solving major management problems, and agency accomplishments. Each agency was graded on how many key goals relating to its mission it accomplished.

Of the 24 largest agencies, only four-the Departments of Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Education, and the Social Security Administration-received grades higher than a 'C'.

The Departments of Commerce, Energy, Justice, and State all flunked.

"These performance reports are supposed to inform Congress and the public about what agencies are doing and how well they are doing it. Most of them don't do that," said Thompson, chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. "Unfortunately, in many cases, agencies didn't have goals for things that we assumed were in their primary mission."

Thompson's commmittee found that agencies have particular difficulty preventing fraud and waste in the use of taxpayer dollars and in providing quality customer service to the public.

The performance reports mark the culmination of the first complete cycle of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), a 1993 law requiring agencies to write strategic plans and prepare annual performance plans and performance reports. Agencies submitted their first performance reports in March, assessing how well they met their goals in fiscal 1999.

Thompson's grades were based on reviews of agencies' fiscal 1999 performance reports by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Research Service, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee staff, and agency inspectors general.

Agencies' 1999 performance reports were also graded in May by Mercatus Center scholars, but the focus of those grades was on how agencies delivered their information-readability and user-friendliness of the reports.

Governmental Affairs Committee's Grades of Agencies' 1999 Annual Performance Reports

Agency Grade
Transportation A
Veterans Affairs A
Education B
SSA B
HUD C
Interior C
Labor C
NSF C
DoD C-
EPA C-
FEMA C-
GSA C-
HHS C-
NASA C-
NRC C-
Treasury C-
USAID C-
USDA D
OPM D
SBA D
Commerce F
Energy F
Justice F
State F
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.