Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 63 of 73
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efficiency measures and the extent to which they reported efficiency
gains, and what challenges or constraints to developing and using
efficiency measures they faced, we reviewed program Web sites, PART
assessments, other documents provided by program officials, and
interviewed program officials identified by the departments as
knowledgeable about the particular program and its efficiency measure(s).
These interviews consisted of asking agency officials a similar set of
questions with topics such as how the efficiency measure(s) was
developed and used, associated challenges, and alternative methods for
evaluating efficiency. For the two programs that did not have any
efficiency measures in PART, we asked questions such as whether they
had other efficiency-related measures they tracked internally which were
unrelated to PART, whether there had been prior attempts to develop an
efficiency measure, and whether they had experienced specific challenges
to developing and using efficiency measures. In addition to interviewing
program officials, we also interviewed at least one official in each of the
five departments who was responsible for performance measurement at
the departmentwide level. These interviews also had a similar set of
questions and were specific to departmentwide performance measurement
issues, such as whether the department had its own guidelines or guidance
pertaining to developing and using efficiency measures, how results for
program-level efficiency measures get reported within the agency, and
how program efficiency measures were used. Also at the department level,
we interviewed officials associated with each of the five departments'
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) offices, asking questions about the role the
CFOs office played, if any, in developing efficiency measures for programs
and inquiring about the development and use of a managerial cost
accounting system. In addition to interviewing department and program
officials, we interviewed OMB officials on several occasions about the
approach to efficiency under PART and discussed, among other topics, the
training and guidance OMB provided, and any lessons learned from the
agencies' efforts to develop and use efficiency measures. OMB also
provided us with documents detailing the history of the PART program.
Finally, to determine whether a selected program's efficiency measure
indicated a gain or loss, we reviewed the efficiency measure data that
were reported in the program's PART assessment and subtracted the
initial year of data from the latest year available. To verify the accuracy of
the data, we asked program officials to confirm the data and when
necessary, to provide us with the most recent data.
To address the fourth objective regarding the approaches agencies can
employ to improve efficiency, we interviewed program officials for the
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/m1/63/: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.