Editor’s Note: Senior Executive Service managers are making better use of agency performance information in making decision than non-SES managers according GAO’s new GPRA Modernization Act report, Managing for Results. GAO documented that (1) agencies are not improving their use of performance information in their decision-making processes, (2) SES managers are making better use of performance information than non-SES managers and (3) agencies need OMB assistance in improving their use of information. Thus, improvements in agency performance will require that SES corps use their social entrepreneurial skills to achieve improved use of performance information throughout their agencies.
What GAO Found
Agencies’ reported use of performance information, as measured by GAO’s use of performance information index, generally did not improve between 2007 and 2013.
In addition, figure 4 illustrates that SES managers used performance information, as measured by our index, more than non-SES managers both government-wide and within each agency.
Our analyses of agency-level results from our periodic surveys of federal managers in 2007 and 2013 reinforce that there are several leading practices and related survey questions that significantly influenced agencies’ use of performance information for management decision making. However, our surveys show that such usage generally has not improved over time. This information can be helpful to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Performance Improvement Council as they work with federal agencies to identify and implement stronger performance management practices to help improve agency use of performance information. Moreover, the use of performance information will remain a challenge unless agencies can narrow the gap in use between Senior Executive Service (SES) and non-SES managers.