NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Report Measures Government Agencies' Results

May 4, 2000

Which government agencies are actually producing something valued by the public? That is what Jerry Ellig of George Mason University's Mercatus Center set out to discover in a newly published study mandated by Congress.

Here are a few of his findings:

  • The lowest scorers in providing public information, benefits and leadership are the Commerce and Agriculture departments and the National Science Foundation.
  • The best scorers were Veterans Affairs, the Transportation Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the report found.
  • The most common weakness among the agencies is telling the public what taxpayers are paying for and what the agencies are producing.
  • Another common failure among the 24 agencies reviewed is demonstrating whether their activities actually make a difference.

The National Science Foundation was faulted for having relatively few goals which focus on results. The Commerce Department was found to have "no vision or explanation of how the department improves Americans' quality of life."

Source: Audrey Hudson, "Government Does a Poor Job of Explaining Itself, Report Says," Washington Times, May 4, 2000.

 

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