Federal Productivity and Performance Appraisal Systems

Gao ID: 109642 June 14, 1979

There has been limited progress made toward improving Government productivity. Some of the barriers to be overcome include the absence of profit motive, diverse missions, lack of high-level interest, disincentives of classification standards and the budget process, absence of specific goals, and unnecessary regulations that erode managerial ability. There has been little effort aimed at developing, using, and refining performance measures. If managers are to be held accountable for improving productivity, the tools must be available for assessing performance. GAO found three barriers to effective measurement systems: inaccurate measurement data, untimely and inaccurate reporting, and lack of managerial commitment. Incentives to make performance measurement systems effective include: rewarding managers and employees for productivity improvements within their organizational units; providing managers with flexibility to manage resources unencumbered by certain personnel constraints and arbitrary controls; and giving organizations recognition for productivity improvements in the budget process. The Office of Management and Budget should: establish a policy which directs departments and agencies to measure regularly the ongoing performance of programs; require productivity data to support agency budget requests; provide departments and agencies with incentives in the budget process to improve management; identify management issues for the attention of departments and agencies; and provide support for agency management improvement efforts. The Office of Personnel Management should ensure that agencies have measures to link pay and performance, and provide assistance in the development of performance measures.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.