A few agencies can measure improvements

Despite having an abundance of performance measures to determine effectiveness, agency managers generally do not use them to inform their decisions any more than they did several years ago. But one group of agencies identified in a Government Accountability Office report has demonstrated that performance measures and practices can improve effectiveness.

GAO reviewed how agencies from the Labor, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Commerce departments and the Small Business Administration used performance information and practices to help make key management decisions.

'Creating results-oriented cultures in which performance information is routinely used to make key management decisions will require the sustained attention and commitment of top agency leadership and more widespread adoption of the practices identified in this report,' said Bernice Steinhardt, GAO's director of strategic issues, in the recently released report.

Practices, which include demonstrating management commitment and aligning agencywide goals, objectives and measures, can help agencies identify and share effective approaches, allocate resources, and recognize and reward performance.

GAO also recommended that agencies describe helpful next steps in using the performance information and adopting best practices for broader sharing. To read the report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 485 in the GCN.com/box.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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