ERIC Number: ED465320
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Federal Student Aid: Additional Management Improvements Would Clarify Strategic Direction and Enhance Accountability. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
To determine what Federal Student Aid (FSA), previously the Office of Student Financial Assistance, had done to develop and implement a strategic direction as mandated by Congress in performance-based organization legislation, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed FSA's strategic and annual performance plans and annual reports, interviewing officials of the Department of Education and FSA in headquarters and five regional FSA offices. Information from many other sources complemented this study. The review shows that the FSA has developed three strategic goals, created indicators to measure progress toward those goals, and developed a tool to link employees' day-to-day activities to the strategic goals. The goals are to: (1) increase customer satisfaction; (2) increase employee satisfaction; and (3) reduce unit cost. FSA efforts to date are having promising results in terms of customer and employee satisfaction, but progress toward reducing unit costs is more difficult to gauge. FSA has also begun to implement some human capital practices to organize its services better. The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Education direct the FSA to make its performance plan more useful to congressional decision makers, and that efforts should be made to make information more timely and readily available. An appendix contains comments from the U.S. Department of Education, and an second appendix contains GAO acknowledgments and contacts. (SLD)
Descriptors: Employees, Government Role, Higher Education, Human Capital, Performance, Performance Based Assessment, Program Administration, Public Agencies, Satisfaction, Strategic Planning, Student Financial Aid
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548 (first copy free; additional copies, $2 each; 25% discount for orders of 100 or more copies to a single address). Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061. For full text: http://www.gao.gov.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.