The Department of State's Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year 2005 (the PAR) provides program results and financial information to help Congress, the President, and the public assess the Department's performance relative to our mission and stewardship of resources entrusted to us. The PAR also provides readers a sense of the Department's highest priorities in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, and our strengths and challenges in implementing programs that pursue the President's foreign policy agenda.
As part of the Department's annual planning cycle, the Department sets specific, outcome-oriented, measurable criteria for self-evaluating its performance under a strategic framework established in the Department's Strategic Plan. The FY 2005 PAR reports on the Department's successes, performance shortfalls and management challenges as measured against the Department's FY 2005 Performance Plan, as well as details reports and findings on the Department's FY 2005 financial operations.
The PAR satisfies reporting requirements under the following legislation:
The Department continues to improve the relevance and efficacy of our performance measures and targets. The Department's Office of Strategic and Performance Planning employs experienced performance management analysts who provide training, guidance and support to more than forty planning coordinators based in regional and functional bureaus throughout the Department of State. The bureau planning coordinators work directly with senior leadership, program managers and technical experts to review and evaluate performance measures to ensure they best capture the President's highest foreign policy priorities and focus on high-level outcomes.
During FY 2005, the Department intensified efforts to streamline the total number of indicators used to track performance and improve the utility of our planning measures and targets. Throughout the year, we reviewed our performance management plan and continued to replace weak indicators and imprecise targets with measures that better serve Department leadership in tracking progress toward achieving our highest-level objectives and strategic goals. Explanations for specific changes made to individual performance measures can be found in the PAR's Appendix.
The performance section is organized to provide easily accessible, results-oriented performance information on measures pursued under the Department's FY 2005 Performance Plan. Each strategic goal chapter is divided into the following subsections, with a description of each section explained below:
|Public Benefit||A concise narrative on how Department policies and programs under each strategic goal benefit the American people and the international community.|
|Selected Performance Trends||Graphs that show multi-year performance trends for key indicators under each strategic goal.|
|Strategic Context||A table depicting the major initiatives/programs, resources, bureaus, and partners that contribute to activities under a given strategic goal.|
|Performance Summary||A chart showing the distribution of performance results achieved under a strategic goal.|
|Performance Analysis||A brief analysis of results and outcomes, performance trends, key performance challenges and resources invested under each strategic goal. Budget figures in this section are derived from the FY 2006 Congressional Budget Justification.|
|Resources Invested||A summary of resources (both dollars and people) devoted to programs under each performance goal to help readers assess the relative effectiveness and efficiency of Department programs.|
|Performance Results||A report of the Department's performance on measures in the FY 2005 Department Performance Plan, including program results, rating, and impact. This section also provides an analysis of target shortfalls and steps to improve, as well as information on data quality, verification and validation, and performance history.|
The Department applies a rigorous results rating methodology to assess FY 2005 performance on initiatives and programs under each strategic goal. Program managers assign one of five performance ratings to results achieved under each performance measure and performance analysts in the Office of Strategic and Performance Planning review and validate each rating. Ratings reflect the Department's assessment of performance based on a composite evaluation of several factors, including results on targets set in the FY 2005 Department Performance Plan, budget status, timeliness in meeting deadlines, and overall progress toward the intended impact of the initiative/program. The following table shows the criteria and parameters of the Department's Performance Results Rating System.
|Results Against Targets||Results missed FY 2005 target by a significant margin||Results missed FY 2005 target by a slight margin||Results met FY 2005 targettarget||Results slightly exceeded FY 2005 target||Significantly exceeded FY 2005 target|
|Budget Status||Spent significantly over budget||Spent slightly over budget||Spent on budget||Spent slightly under budget||Spent significantly under budget|
|Timeliness||Missed most critical deadlines||Missed some critical deadlines||Met all critical deadlines||Met some critical deadlines early||Met most critical deadlines early|
|Impact on Targeted Outcomes Linked to Performance Goals||Results significantly compromise progress toward targeted outcomes||Results slightly compromise progress toward targeted outcomes||Results are on track with the expected pace of progress toward targeted outcomes||Results are slightly ahead of the expected pace of progress toward targeted outcomes||Results are significantly ahead of the expected pace of progress toward targeted outcomes|
Some initiatives or programs in the PAR's Performance Section contain multiple ratings since they have multiple program components. When summarizing FY 2005 results in the PAR, the Department limited each indicator to a single rating that best reflects the Department's overall performance. Ratings were then aggregated to the performance goal or strategic goal level and shown as a distribution in graphs and charts.
Assessing the reliability and completeness of performance data is critical to managing for results. Comparing actual performance with the projected levels of performance can only be accomplished if the data used to measure performance are complete and reliable. In accordance with the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued guidance addressing data completeness and reliability as follows:
The Department's program managers are accountable for performance results reported in the PAR. Our credibility depends on the due diligence of our managers to validate and verify our performance by choosing appropriate performance measures and ensuring the highest accuracy of reported results. The Department has developed a six-part Verification and Validation reference guide to assist program managers ascertain the quality, reliability and accuracy of performance data. The National Foreign Affairs Training Center also uses this guide as an instruction manual during the Department's course in strategic and performance planning.
Assessing the reliability and completeness of performance data is critical to managing for results. Tables in the Performance Section's "Performance Results" subsection include the following information to show validation and verification of the Department's performance data:
Federal agencies' Inspectors General play a central role in the verification and validation of their agency's performance measures. To assist the Department measure performance and implement the President's Management Agenda, the Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) reviews relevant performance measures in the course of its audits and evaluations. OIG consults with Department managers to identify key measures to be verified and validated as a complement to the Department's own verification and validation efforts. OIG gives priority to performance measures related to achieving the President's Management Agenda initiatives, programs being assessed by OMB's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), and to areas OIG has identified as serious management and performance challenges. In addition, the Department's independent auditor annually reviews the methods and controls used to gather, store, interpret, and report performance data.
The PAR is designed for use by a wide of variety of audiences and stakeholders within and outside government, from Department senior managers and employees, to managers in other federal agencies, to Congress and the White House, the media, interest groups, students and academics, and the general public. The Department has developed an extensive outreach plan to publicize and disseminate the report. As part of this outreach plan, the PAR will be available to the public in four easily accessible products:
To order these materials or to comment on the PAR, please contact:
U.S. Department of State, Office of Strategic and Performance Planning
Bureau of Resource Management,
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520