Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 61 of 73
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amount of funding each program received within the program types, the
number of programs for each PART program type, the number of
programs that had between zero and eight efficiency measures, and the
number of programs in each selected department by PART program type.
* Analysis of PART measures selected with certainty from 21
programs in five departments: For the 21 programs we selected, we
conducted a more detailed analysis on the 36 associated efficiency
measures.7 However, any findings based on this analysis cannot be
generalized beyond these particular measures. We performed a content
analysis review of these measures, which was based upon the PART
efficiency measure data; our review of applicable documents concerning
the measures and programs, such as the programs' PART assessments; and
interviewing program officials to discuss the measures and programs. For
each of these measures, we identified whether certain attributes were
present, and the documents we reviewed and interviews we conducted
aided in this effort at times. The fields from the PART database we used to
assess each efficiency measure were the agency and program name, the
text for each efficiency measure and, when present, the more detailed
efficiency measure explanation. Using this information, we determined
whether each of the measures included the program's inputs (such as cost
or hours worked by employees) as well as its outputs or outcomes. When
we identified a measure as having an output or outcome element, we
distinguished between the two. We also analyzed whether there was either
a time or cost attribute to each measure. For each of these attributes, the
potential answers were "Yes," "No," or "Unclear."8 To determine whether
an efficiency measure had these attributes, we defined each term for this
particular exercise. We defined an input as a resource, such as cost or
employee time, used to produce outputs or outcomes. We defined outputs
as the amount of products and services delivered by a program. We
defined outcomes as the desired results of a program, such as events,
occurrences or changes in conditions, behaviors or attitudes. We defined
a measure to have an attribute of time or cost when the measure appeared
7In addition to these 36 efficiency measures, there were a total of 5 additional efficiency
measures included in the PART data we received from OMB for three of our selected
programs. However, officials from each of these programs told us these 5 efficiency
measures were no longer associated with PART, so we excluded them from our analysis.
Further, one of the selected programs, the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation
Administration Air Traffic Organization (ATO)Terminal, changed one of its measures in
PART, ATO-Terminal staffing ratio, from an "output" to an "efficiency" measure after our
initial interview. As a result, we did not include this measure in our review.
8When a measure was coded "No" for output/outcome, we coded the output or outcome
GAO-10-394 Streamlining Government
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency, report, May 7, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302236/m1/61/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.