GAO report finds agency use of performance information on the rise


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Written by Dave Nyczepir

Most agencies have seen their managers use performance information in decision-making in 2020, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Wednesday.

The GAO created an index in 2007 to measure federal managers’ use of performance information and found that it had increased in 16 of the 24 agencies of the Chief Financial Officers Act compared to 2017.

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 requires agencies to make greater use of performance information and other evidence in decision-making, and this is the first year that usage has increased since the inception of the index.

“The results of our 2020 survey reinforced our earlier findings that managers whose programs underwent data-driven reviews reported greater use of performance information, leading practices that promote such leading use and practices for effective data-driven reviews, ”the GAO report reads.

About 940 of the roughly 2,240 managers who responded to the GAO survey said they were “somewhat” or “very” familiar with data-based reviews of progress toward selected goals, and those whose programs had done the job. subject to such examinations obtained higher scores on the index of a “great” or “very great” measure.

Agencies who have trained their managers in the use of performance information and made this information accessibleensuring that projects report relevant data to a central repository for leadership review – also tended to score higher, according to the report.

One agency that improved its use of performance information was NASA, which previously had a history of its projects rising in cost and being delayed.

Only the Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Agency for International Development responded to GAO’s findings, the former touting its index score improved more than that of any other major agency.

“VA has also conducted company-wide surveys of evidence practitioners / assessors to provide their direct feedback on areas requiring further improvement,” the department’s response read. “VA continues to improve our robust governance approaches to more firmly integrate evidence-based decision making into our framework. “

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