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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Performance Management - A Leadership Priority

FY 2005 Performance and Accountability Highlights
Bureau of Resource Management
November 2005


For the Secretary of State and her management team, strategic and performance planning is more than a series of activities to fulfill congressionally mandated requirements under the 1993 Government Accountability and Results Act (GPRA). Although complying with GPRA is a responsibility the Department takes seriously, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary set strategic and performance management as a leadership priority to ensure the Department achieves its desired objectives and goals for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The Department's strategic objectives and goals lead toward a future of greater peace, security, sustainable development, international understanding, and increased diplomatic strength.

For fiscal years 2004-2009, the Department of State issued a joint Strategic Plan in conjunction with USAID that governs the activities of both agencies. The Strategic Plan utilizes a strategic goal framework that captures and articulates high priority goals and objectives shared by both agencies. Guided by the Strategic Plan, the planning and resource allocation process receives the personal attention of the Secretary on an ongoing basis as she leads senior level Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews of bureau performance and resource plans. The Department and USAID are in the process of revising the Strategic Plan, which will be completed in FY 2006.

 Image representing the relationship between key components of the performance landscape.D

To help achieve U.S. diplomatic, development, and management priorities and eliminate duplication, the Department and USAID have established joint policy and management councils as recommended in the Strategic Plan. The Secretary's leadership in establishing these councils is ensuring the alignment of foreign policy and development assistance, and is improving the necessary management and organizational coordination and collaboration between the two agencies.

Each year, the Department's diplomatic missions and Washington-based bureaus submit Mission Performance Plans (MPPs) and Bureau Performance Plans (BPPs) respectively that describe their policy and program goals, priorities and resource requirements, and evaluate performance. In FY 2005, the Department installed new application and database servers supporting the MPP and BPP applications, providing missions, bureaus, and senior officials the benefit of more reliable service and faster response times. The Department also launched the Global Affairs Dashboard, an executive reporting tool that allows the sharing of performance and budget data among the Department's bureaus and missions. The Dashboard allows managers to efficiently review, extract and organize data found in the Department's thirty-eight bureau performance plans and one hundred eighty-four mission performance plans to assess trends and performance outcomes.

The Department has now fully integrated and institutionalized PART into the budget and planning processes. This enables State to systematically track PART findings and recommendations and has resulted in a number of management actions that address program performance deficiencies. PART efficiency measures enable program managers to monitor the administrative cost of achieving a given outcome or output. The Department delivers a comprehensive review of efficiency measures, including both those developed for the PART in consultation with OMB and those developed internally by non-PART program managers, to OMB via quarterly management reports.

Since the President's Management Agenda (PMA) was initiated in 2001, the Department has measurably improved performance on the PMA's five government-wide initiatives: human capital; e-government; competitive sourcing; financial performance; and budget and performance integration. The Department now ranks in the top tier of the 26 PMA agencies. The Department is able to match personnel and financial requirements against policy objectives better than ever and continues to deliver services electronically to employees and the public in ways that are faster, cheaper, and more effective. These efforts support the Department's IT vision — empower diplomacy with tools and information available anytime, anywhere. We have accelerated our competitive sourcing program, as evidenced by the improvement in status on the PMA scorecard from red to yellow in December 2004, and we will continue our sustained focus on competitive sourcing goals to move from yellow to green. The Department's improved financial performance has enhanced our ability to track where every dollar comes from and where every dollar goes in a timely and accurate manner. Accurate and timely information is critical to managing our programs on a day-to-day basis, obtaining the best performance, and ensuring accountability to the American public.

The Department of State has been a leader in using financial and performance information to support decision-making at all managerial levels. The Department's FY 2007 budget submission includes chapters that further integrate performance measures and targets into the Department's resource request. The resulting budget is a more analytical and robust document, framing priorities and accomplishments in terms of performance goals. The Department and USAID's fiscal year 2006 and 2007 Joint Performance Plans (JPP) describe Department and USAID plans to advance their common mission, long-term strategic goals, and performance goals. Performance targets relate to the most critical efforts on which the agencies will focus. The Joint Performance Plan is built upon the long-term State and USAID strategic planning framework, and supports the Administration's efforts to better integrate foreign policy and development assistance. The annual Joint Performance Plan process will lead to: increased strategic collaboration and communication between agencies; standardization of evaluation tools, indicators, and benchmarks; and effectiveness and efficiency gains from more integrated program execution.

Underlying the Department's performance management processes is senior leadership's commitment to use funds efficiently and judiciously to produce outstanding results. The American public has a right to know how much time, talent and treasure it costs to achieve key U.S. foreign policy goals. In fiscal year 2005, the Department continued to enhance our capacity to evaluate the cost of achieving goals and results, including:

The Department's Consolidated Statement of Net Cost - breaks down revenue and expenditures by strategic objective and strategic goal, so it is possible to see at a glance, for example, how much the Department spent to promote Democracy and Human Rights in FY 2004 and FY 2005. The Consolidating Schedule of Net Cost further allocates revenue and cost by program area, so the American public can see how much the Department of State spent on Arms Control activities to promote the strategic goal of Regional Stability, for example.

Resource allocation. At all levels of annual performance planning - mission, bureau and agency - Department managers are mindful of the link between requested resources and strategic goals. This promotes coordination and cooperation, since multiple Department bureaus and federal agencies collaborate on crosscutting issues under each strategic goal. Linking resources to performance also encourages government program managers to justify their budget requests based on expected return. The FY 2005 PAR estimates the number of staff and dollars applied toward each of the Department's 12 strategic goals and 38 performance goals using percentage allocations derived from the most recent information available.


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