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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

How We Use Performance Management

FY 2008 Financial Report
Bureau of Resource Management
December 2008

How We Use Performance Management

The Department of State uses performance management as the basis for both long-term and annual planning processes. Diplomatic missions and Washington-based bureaus engage in annual planning activities that define policy and program goals by country and region, and also by crosscutting global issues such as democracy, economic prosperity, counterterrorism, nonproliferation, health and the environment. The annual process includes senior leadership engagement and culminates with the submission of the President’s Budget to Congress. The Department’s performance management framework links Department-wide goals to bureau and mission level goals and programs, and their associated performance measures, targets and results as shown in the graphic below.

Diagram showing the performance management model.D

Transparent reporting on stewardship and management of public funds is an integral part of the responsibilities of all federal agencies. In an effort to continuously improve program performance, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order No. 13450, on November 13, 2007, establishing a USG-wide Performance Improvement Council and requiring each federal agency to appoint a Performance Improvement Officer. The full text of the Executive Order can be found at: Duties of the Performance Improvement Officer include supervising the performance management activities of the agency, development of goals and specific plans, preparation of the agency’s strategic and annual plans, and other related activities. At the State Department, implementation of the Executive Order has strengthened the performance management structure and brought new focus to the value and impact of effective performance management.

To streamline Government reporting, the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) created a Pilot Program for Alternative Approaches to Performance and Accountability Reporting in 2007. The Department of State elected to participate in this voluntary program and reconfigured its annual reporting documents as detailed below. The Department believes this approach improves the transparency of federal reporting and provides a more succinct and easily understood analysis of the Department’s accountability over its resources. All reports provide information that is easily accessible to a diverse set of readers and stakeholders.

In implementing the four-tiered Pilot Program reporting schedule, the Department provides detailed financial reporting in mid-November in this report, a two-page Budget, Performance and Financial Snapshot of high priority outcomes and financial results in mid-December, 2008, a complete performance report in mid-January, 2009, and a summary of performance and financial information for the general audience in a Citizens' Report in mid-January, 2009. All reports will be made available online at

This structure is designed to improve government reporting and ensure the public and oversight organizations can hold government agencies accountable for the use of public funds. Government programs should deliver tangible, measurable results which attest to the effectiveness of programs and ensure that funding produces maximum results. Congress and the American people should expect nothing less.


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