Observations on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan Page: 4 of 42
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decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the transporting, storing, and disposing of
radioactive wastes. This performance goal would capture 7 of the 13 management
In addition, NRC either has an output measure or management strategy that relates to
four management challenges (developing information management systems,
overseeing agency procurement, maintaining an unqualified financial statement, and
refocusing NRC's research program to reflect a mature industry). To achieve another
of its new performance goals-increase public confidence-NRC will need to
effectively communicate with the public-a management challenge identified by the
OIG. Although the Commission did not approve the staffs recommendation to
conduct a public confidence survey and establish a baseline by which to measure
whether NRC's actions increase public confidence and allow it to achieve this goal,
the staff is examining various options to assess and/or measure NRC's effectiveness
in communicating with the public.
Finally, although NRC has neither a goal, measure, nor strategy to address the
cultural and organizational challenges that we identified, it has taken or is in the
process of taking various actions to address this management challenge. For
example, NRC has reduced its staff and achieved its targeted 8 to 1 supervisor to staff
ratio. In addition, in the spring of 1999, NRC disbanded one of its offices and placed
that office's activities within its program offices. It also contracted for a "top down"
assessment of one of its major program offices to identify opportunities to improve
its effectiveness and efficiency. In addition, NRC intends to become more
performance-based and has established a planning, budgeting, and performance
management process to implement such an approach. NRC's following through on
this commitment and completing its ongoing cultural change initiatives should help it
address this management challenge.
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology
Our objectives concerning selected key agency outcomes were to (1) identify and
assess the quality of the performance goals and measures directly related to a key
outcome, (2) assess the agency's actual performance in fiscal year 1999 for each
outcome, and (3) assess the agency's planned performance for fiscal year 2001 for
each outcome. Our objectives concerning major management challenges were to (1)
assess how well NRC's fiscal year 1999 performance report discussed the progress it
had made in resolving the major management challenges that we and NRC's OIG had
previously identified and (2) identify whether NRC's fiscal year 2001 performance
The seven management challenges are (1) NRC lacks assurance that nuclear plants operate safely; (2)
NRC is slow to require corrective action; (3) defining and implementing a risk-informed, performance-
based approach; (4) responding to the impact of industry deregulation; (5) ensuring that NRC's
processes are responsive to industry's needs; (6) ensuring that NRC's enforcement program has an
appropriate safety focus and reflects improved licensees' performance; and (7) responding to external
influences for changing NRC's operations..
4 GAO/RCED-00-200R NRC's FY 1999 Performance Report and FY 2001 Performance Plan
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United States. General Accounting Office. Observations on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan, text, June 30, 2000; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301424/m1/4/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.