Detailed Information on the
Coast Guard: Search and Rescue Assessment

Program Code 10000026
Program Title Coast Guard: Search and Rescue
Department Name Dept of Homeland Security
Agency/Bureau Name United States Coast Guard
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Capital Assets and Service Acquisition Program
Assessment Year 2007
Assessment Rating Adequate
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 88%
Program Management 62%
Program Results/Accountability 53%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $929
FY2008 $904
FY2009 $922

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Develop ambitious targets for new annual measures related to property saved and time-on-scene.

Action taken, but not completed The program??s improvement plan includes the following: (1) by June 2008, finalize measurement methodology, brief DHS and OMB and direct field units to begin reporting using the new methodology; (2) by July 2009, finish collecting one year of baseline data; (3) by July 2009 review baseline data, set ambitious yet realistic targets for the new measures, and provide DHS and OMB with final measures and data.

Develop and implement program-specific corrective actions to improve the performance data collection system, MISLE (Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement).

No action taken The program??s improvement plan includes the following: (1) by March 2008 determine which MISLE data fields are used for performance data and establish business rules to eliminate bad data entry; (2) by July 2008 create an automated MISLE Data Exception Report to identify errors; (3) by July 2008 publish SAR MISLE data entry guidance; (4) by August 2008 have a process in place to remediate Exception Report-identified issues and incorporate MISLE training into the National SAR School curriculum.

Develop and implement a new annual performance measure to reflect cost, schedule and quality performance for the program's key acquisition project, Rescue 21.

No action taken The program??s improvement plan includes the following: (1) By May 2008, examine MISLE SAR data fields for data on pre and post R21 implementation impact; identify fields for chosen measure; develop query info and output formats for implementation in CGBI data systems; (2) By June 2008, units report data using new methodology and new SAR Addendum published; (3) By April 2009, complete 1-year baseline period. Establish viable collection year and develop procedures to verify quarterly results.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term/Annual Outcome

Measure: Percent of mariners "in imminent distress" saved.

Explanation:The ultimate goal of the Coast Guard's Search and Rescue (SAR) Program is to prevent loss of life in every situation where our actions and performance could possibly be brought to bear. The Coast Guard's success in meeting this goal is the result of not only how well the SAR system responds to maritime SAR incidents, but also to how well prevention efforts of other maritime safety programs are performing. Search and Rescue performance is measured as the number of "lives saved" versus the number of "lives in distress." "Lives in distress" refers to persons in peril as a result of an extraordinary event (e.g. injury, material failure of a vessel, environmental conditions, etc.) beyond the inherent danger of the maritime environment. The SAR performance measure tracks the number of lives saved versus lives lost both before and after the Coast Guard is notified, thereby measuring both response and prevention actions. As structured, this measure encourages the Coast Guard to invest in supporting the acquisition of new response assets, such as the Response Boat Medium, and improving prevention activities, such as safe boater programs. These investments combine to increase the possibility that a SAR mission will end with lives saved instead of lost. Cases involving 11 or more people (lives saved or lost) represent less than 2% of all cases and are data anomalies for analysis purposes. These cases are excluded from the performance measure as a way to assist the SAR Program with annual performance assessment. However, excluded data is footnoted in all reports. In addition, SAR performance measure results do not currently include Lives Unaccounted For (LUF), which is the number of persons missing when SAR operations cease. In FY 2000, the Coast Guard began reporting the number of LUF in addition to lives lost. Due to data collection inconsistencies for LUF, additional data collection/reporting guidance was promulgated in 2006. Data including LUF and collected under this new guidance will be reflected in the FY 2007 data. Future incorporation of LUF into the SAR performance measure will require a realignment of the target performance level.

Year Target Actual
2001 Baseline 84.2%
2006 86% 85.2%
2007 86% 85.4%
2008 87% 81.9%
2009 87%
2010 87%
2011 88%
2012 88%
2013 88%
Annual Outcome

Measure: Percent of property "in danger of loss" saved.

Explanation:Targets listed below are placeholders until formal targets are developed. In the 2006 General Accountability Office report on Non-Homeland Security Mission Performance, it was pointed out that there is no consistent means specified for determining the value of the property saved or lost. This reflects the widely varying costs of maritime vessels. Although they may be of similar description, two 30-foot long cabin cruisers may have a market value of $5000 or $50000 depending upon age, construction, equipment, condition, etc. In 2007 the Coast Guard instituted use of a standardized cost table based solely upon vessel length, type of construction, and type of use. This will provide consistent and repeatable values for vessels using those criteria. The intent of providing the performance measure is to show a gross level of activity results. While the Coast Guard will place resources at risk to save lives, it will not do so solely to save property. This figure is also not used to provide efficiency measures compared to program costs. Therefore, target data is currently being re-baselined. The number is reported in various public information venues, but not as a GPRA goal.

Year Target Actual
2002 80% 62%
2003 80% 81%
2004 80% 84%
2005 80% 62%
2006 80% 77%
2007 80% re-baselining
2008 80% not available
2009 80%
2010 80%
2011 80%
2012 80%
2013 80%
Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of Search and Rescue assets "on-scene" within two hours.

Explanation:Targets below are placeholders until final targets are developed. The overarching Search and Rescue program guideline is to have a unit's first responses asset on scene to a reported distress location within two hours of initial Coast Guard notification of a maritime distress. This two hours is comprised of 30 minutes to dispatch a resource and 90 minutes to travel to the reported location. Two important points are that the two hours is based upon when the Coast Guard: a. Makes the determination that the case is a Distress situation. b. Has adequate position information to dispatch a resource.

Year Target Actual
2007 85% baseline
2008 85% not available
2009 85%
2010 85%
2011 85%
2012 85%
2013 85%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Percent of Lives Saved divided by Search and Rescue Operating Expenses.

Explanation:The Coast Guard annually measures efficiency as the percent of lives saved divided by the operating expenses of the Search and Rescue Program.

Year Target Actual
2006 .09% .13%
2007 .16% .09%
2008 .15% not available
2009 .16%
2010 .16%
2011 .16%
2012 .16%
2013 .15%

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The purpose of the Search and Rescue (SAR) Program is to save lives and property at sea. Authorizing language states that the Coast Guard shall operate SAR facilities and may render aid to distressed persons and save property in U.S. seas and waters. Search and Rescue is one of the Coast Guard's eleven statutory missions.

Evidence: 14 U.S.C. 2, 88, and 141 can be viewed at this web site: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode14/usc_sec_14_00000002----000-.html The U.S.Coast Guard Strategy for Maritime Safety, Security, and Stewardship (page 3) outlines all Coast Guard authorities and is located at: http://www.uscg.mil/comdt/speeches/docs/CGS-Final.pdf

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The Search and Rescue Program addresses the problems of persons in distress and property at risk in U.S. seas and waters.

Evidence: In 2006, there were 28,000 maritime search and rescue cases in the U.S., over 700 lives lost, and over $400 million in property lost. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/U_S_%20Coast%20Guard%20SAR%20Statistics%20Introduction.htm

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The Coast Guard is designated the Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator for the United States. No other U.S. entity provides air and waterborne maritime SAR services in the offshore marine environment. To the extent that other agencies and entities can contribute in the near coastal areas, their efforts are coordinated and leveraged by the Coast Guard.

Evidence: The U.S. National Search and Rescue Plan formally designates the Coast Guard alone to perform this mission (see paragraphs 19, 42, 65, and 81). http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/nsarc/nsp.htm

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: No evidence exists of a more efficient or effective approach to providing assistance to persons and property in distress at sea. All Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) assets are multi-mission, also engaged in inherently governmental functions such as law enforcement. The SAR Program uses all available resources in planning a response system - local, state, other Federal, private enterprise, and volunteers. The Program's effectiveness is maximized through its de-centralized command and control structure. While all Coast Guard units in the chain of command are required to follow Headquarters' established policies and procedures, mission execution is initiated and controlled at the lowest practicable level.

Evidence: The U. S. Coast Guard 2008 Budget in Brief explains multi-mission effectiveness and efficiencies (page 1 - 2) http://www.uscg.mil/top/about/doc/FY08_Budget.pdf . The U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Addendum, section 1.2, discusses this topic in more detail. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf

YES 20%

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Search and Rescue (SAR) response resources are placed at locations and in readiness postures designed to provide maximum service (chance of survival) to SAR service beneficiaries. Program guidelines require a SAR response unit to dispatch within 30 minutes of notification and to arrive on scene within 2 hours of initial notification. Command and control of response resources is decentralized to the local level to ensure that the best available resource is used for each mission.

Evidence: The U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Addendum to the National SAR Supplement (Preface & Program Overview, Section VI) discusses the SAR System Infrastructure, and Chapter 1 Section 1.1 discusses the SAR System. Taken together they show the effective delivery of services to beneficiaries. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf The independent program review conducted by the Center for Naval Analysis, "Is the USCG Search and Rescue Program Working?," page 53, dated January 2007 also provides evidence of the effective delivery of services.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The Search and Rescue (SAR) Program has one long-term outcome measure:"percent of mariners in imminent distress saved." A single measure is appropriate because the primary program mission is narrowly focused on safety. Although the program may engage resources to save property, it does not place resources at risk solely to save property, nor is it required to do so by statute. The widespread existence of salvage operations, plus a healthy insurance industry diminishes the federal role in mitigating accidental property loss at sea. A second long-term measure to capture this activity would promote lesser aspects of the mission and might misdirect strategic planning. The importance of saving property when opportunity and resources permit is reflected in the program's annual measures. The long-term measure has been incorporated into the DHS 5-year plan and GPRA documents.

Evidence: The Search and Rescue program goal of percent of 86% mariners in distress saved in 2006 will gradually increase in future years as system improvements come on line. Statistics dating back to 1964 are available here: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/U_S_%20Coast%20Guard%20SAR%20Statistics%20Introduction.htm The Department of Homeland Security's 5-year planning document "Future Years Homeland Security Plan" and the USCG's Budget-in-Brief both display the measure.

YES 12%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: The program established a new baseline for its performance measure in 2006. Ambitious but realistic targets and timeframes are set/reviewed annually during cross programmatic target-setting meetings. The Search and Rescue Program examines historical trends and new maritime safety legislation and regulations; talks to "front line" service providers (Search and Rescue units) and industry partners; and analyzes new Coast Guard rescue capabilities to set/update targets and timeframes. As programs, regulations, and capabilities are implemented, mature performance targets are adjusted accordingly. The Coast Guard's primary measure target of "percent of lives saved" will increase gradually over the next five years, reflecting anticipated/planned improvements to the search and rescue system.

Evidence: See the U. S. Coast Guard 2008 Budget in Brief, page 20. http://www.uscg.mil/top/about/doc/FY08_Budget.pdf A qualitative analysis is available via the independent program review conducted by the Center for Naval Analysis, "Is the USCG Search and Rescue Program Working?", page 51, dated January 2007.

YES 12%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: The Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Program has two outcome measures and one output measure. The first outcome measure, "percent of mariners in imminent distress saved" directly supports the long-term goal of saving lives by monitoring annual progress toward that goal. The second outcome measure "percent of property saved" supports the secondary mission of SAR. The output measure, "percentage of SAR assets on-scene within two hours" addresses readiness.

Evidence: The program's goals are detailed in the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Addendum to the National SAR Supplement (page PPO-3). http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf Historic measures demonstrating performance are detailed in the 2008 Budget in Brief (page 20). http://www.uscg.mil/top/about/doc/FY08_Budget.pdf

YES 12%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: Baseline information for Percent of Lives Saved dates back to the early 1960's. Baseline information for Percent of Property saved dates back to 1970's. Ambitious but realistic targets and timeframes are set for only one of the three fully developed measures (i.e., lives saved). Targets for the remainder are under development.

Evidence: The U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Addendum to the National Search and Rescue Supplement details the ambitious program targets (page PPO-4) http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf Historic baselines back to 1964 are presented here: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/U_S_%20Coast%20Guard%20SAR%20Statistics%20Introduction.htm

NO 0%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: Coast Guard policy is to use appropriate and available resources which may include state and local watercraft law enforcement, merchant vessels (Amver participating vessels), and commercial towing operations. However, the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator "owns" the case even if a partner is conducting the rescue. Thus, the Coast Guard documents the case and accounts for its outcome in the Coast Guard's measures and goals. The Coordinator will monitor the case activity until completion (and intervene if a partner's response is deemed unsatisfactory).

Evidence: The U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Addendum to the National SAR Supplement (Preface & Program Overview, Section VI) discusses the SAR System Infrastructure, and Chapter 1 Section 1.1 discusses the SAR System, taken together they show the commitments to the SAR System partnerships delivery of services. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf

NA 0%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: One high-quality, comprehensive, independent evaluation of the Search and Rescue (SAR) Program was completed in 2006 by the Center for Naval Analysis. USCG maintains a five-year schedule for review. There also have been independent evaluations performed for aspects of the program. For example, in 2006 the General Accounting Office (GAO) completed an audit of all non-homeland security Coast Guard missions, which included the SAR program, and the GAO issued a report on the Coast Guard's performance during Hurricane Katrina.

Evidence: The following reports are submitted as evidence of sufficient scope and quality of independent evaluations: the comprehensive Center for Naval Analysis Evaluation of the Search and Rescue Program D0015352.A2, the General Accountability Office Report 06-816 about the Coast Guard's non-Homeland Security performance measures, and the July 2006 General Accountability Office Report 06-903 about Hurricane Katrina.

YES 12%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: The Coast Guard uses a performance-based, full-cost budgeting system to tie funding directly to performance goals and targets throughout the budget build process, including resource proposal development, prioritization, and justification. In the case of SAR, as in all other mission programs, budget requests specifically tie the requested resource mix with the expected impact on performance. For example, for the Coast Guard's SAR mission-program, including funding for capital assets is linked to the increased awareness and response operational capabilities that will enable the Coast Guard to save a greater percentage of lives in imminent danger. In addition to specific budget requests, such as the capital project Rescue 21, the Coast Guard ties portions of each year's budget request to specific mission programs, such as SAR, through the Coast Guard's Mission Cost Model. The Mission Cost Model is an estimate of the percentage of the Coast Guard's budget that is projected to be used, in the proposed budget year, on specific resource needs of the mission programs, based on past years' operational asset hours per mission program.

Evidence: Coast Guard Fiscal Year 2008 Congressional-Stage Budget Submission, Strategic Context, shows the key budget theme of "Improve Operational Capability." Coast Guard Fiscal Year 2008 Budget in Brief and Performance Report show performance goals linked to budget requests.

YES 12%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: During Fiscal Year 2007 the Coast Guard began implementation of a prototype Standard Operational Planning Process (SOPP) envisioned in Chapter 4 of the Coast Guard Strategic Blueprint. One of the primary objectives of SOPP is to connect strategic intent to mission execution through operational planning guidance, and subsequent to the execution of the mission measure performance to inform subsequent operational and strategic planning. This prototype involves Headquarters, both Areas, and the First and Thirteenth Districts. It will be rolled out and implemented Coast Guard-wide in Fiscal Year 2008. The SOPP ensures vertical and horizontal alignment across all missions and all levels of the chain of command. A key element in this enhanced performance management process is Operational Planning Guidance, which provides explicit performance expectations, priorities, and resource allocation, as well as the feedback requirement for Operational Performance Assessment Reports back up the chain of command.

Evidence: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf The Standard Operational Planning Process (SOPP) Guide shows how the Coast Guard works to iteratively and collaboratively build its annual Operational Planning Guidance (OPG). The OPG for Fiscal Year 2008 will be finalized approximately 1 June 2007.

YES 12%

Has the agency/program conducted a recent, meaningful, credible analysis of alternatives that includes trade-offs between cost, schedule, risk, and performance goals, and used the results to guide the resulting activity?

Explanation: Recapitalization of surface and air assets supporting the search and rescue program is underway through the Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater System acquisition (Deepwater). An alternatives analysis was completed September 2002 and a System of Systems approach was selected over other alternatives including traditional acquisition to replace assets individually. The capital investment project, Rescue 21, is an advanced command, control and communications system that enables quicker response to distress calls. The alternatives analysis was completed July 1998 and the project completed delivery of an operational system to the first field station in 2005.

Evidence: Exhibit 300 business cases: USCG - Rescue 21 (2008) and USCG Integrated Deepwater Systems (IDS) (2008). For the award of Deepwater Phase 1 (conducted from 1998 thru 2001), competing industry teams conducted independent analysis of alternatives to develop their Integrated Deepwater System concepts (U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater Capability Replacement Analysis, CDRL A028 - IDS Implementation Plan, June 14, 2002, USCG Contract No.: DTCG23-98-C-ADW002).

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 88%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: The program collects performance information, but a recent independent evaluation identified several deficiencies in the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) data collection system used by the program. The Coast Guard documents each Search and Rescue (SAR) case and inputs data into enterprise data systems (MISLE, Abstract of Operations, Aviation Logistics Management Information Systems, etc.). The program queries those systems for performance results.

Evidence: The U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Addendum Appendix B details the requirements for the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator (the owner of the case) to input all performance information into the Maritime Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database. An independent program evaluation by The CNA Corporation ("Is the USCG Search and Rescue Program Working?" CRM D0015352.A2/Final January 2007) concluded "SAR data collection is well designed but badly executed" and made several recommendations to improve data quality.

NO 0%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: The program has a clearly defined chain of command. For each of the nine Coast Guard Districts, the District Commander is assigned as SAR Coordinator and is responsible for all tactical operations. The Officer Evaluation Report (OER) includes evaluation criteria that hold the District Commander accountable for the performance of the SAR program. The MaxHR performance evaluation system for civilians - which all Office Chiefs are subject to, along with senior civilians in the field - requires annual performance goals that are directly linked to program goals, directorate goals, Coast Guard goals, and Departmental goals.

Evidence: Key program managers are delineated in SAR organizations charts provided by the program. Officer Evaluation Reports for District Commanders identify responsibilities for budget and performance. Example MaxHR evaluations were provided for key civilian managers.

YES 12%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?

Explanation: The program obligates substantially all (over 98%) of its operating funds (Operating Expense Appropriation) each year. Virtually all capital acquisition funds (Acquisition, Construction, and Improvement Appropriation) are obligated prior to expiring. Obligation rates are tracked and reported bi-weekly by the Coast Guard's Office of Resource Management. Each Area and District is staffed to actively manage the funds in their respective locations. Several daily reports are offered to all financial report users to monitor obligation rates. The Coast Guard uses its Finance and Procurement Desktop (FPD) to process all of its simplified acquisitions (<$100k). FPD is directly interfaced with the Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation (FPDS-NG) and requires a validated record in FPDS-NG prior to creating an obligation in FPD. The Coast Guard's formal contracting offices (>$100k) use the Contract Information Management System (CIMS) which is also interfaced with FPDS-NG, but does not require the validated record prior to obligation. The Coast Guard's FPDS-NG Program Manager requires each formal contracting office to certify its data in FPDS-NG on a quarterly basis. The certification exercise insures that all of the Coast Guard's awards have been entered into FPDS-NG.

Evidence: Page 5-33 of the Financial Resources Management Manual (FRMM) specifies quarterly spending rates and funding carry over limits. An ALCGFINANCE message in the Coast Guard Messaging System describes the FY 2007 Quarter 2 spend down enforcement policy. The Budget Execution Report for February 2007 shows obligations and expenditure rates. The Coast Guard annually certifies its data accuracy as reported in FPDS-NG.

YES 12%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The primary program efficiency measure is percent of Lives Saved divided by Operating Expenses of the Search and Rescue Program. A baseline and targets have been developed for this measure. Day-to-day efficiencies and cost effectiveness are achieved through a de-centralized Command and Control structure. Operational Commanders are empowered to respond to incidents at the lowest possible level. Further efficiencies and effectiveness result from Command Centers' ability to leverage partnerships with Federal, State, Local and industry partners and volunteer organizations (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System and the Coast Guard Auxiliary). The program periodically assesses operational factors (e.g., distribution of response assets, capability of search tools) to identify and develop initiatives to increase efficiency.

Evidence: U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Addendum Section 1.2 discusses how the Search & Rescue system is designed to efficiently provide services to the customer. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf The Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System and the 2004 Response Boat Siting Analysis are example program initiatives to address operational efficiency.

YES 12%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: All Coast Guard Search and Rescue resources are multi-mission capable. Search and Rescue mission planners also use all other available resources in mission execution- Federal, State, Local, volunteer, private and commercial.

Evidence: The National Search and Rescue Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (pages 4-10 & 11) show how collaboration and coordination work. "http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/nsarc/nsrsupp.pdf"

YES 12%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General assigned 10 Material Weaknesses for Coast Guard financial reporting during the Fiscal Year 2006 Chief Financial Officer Audit. These findings contributed to the Department of Homeland Security's receiving a disclaimer opinion on their Fiscal Year 2006 financial statements. In each of the 10 Material Weakness areas, Coast Guard financial policy and procedure is deficient and in many instances they are non-compliant with generally accepted government accounting principles. Further, the uncertainty of underlying financial data does not provide reasonable assurance that the Coast Guard financial statements are complete or accurate at any time. The Coast Guard has made progress in addressing the 10 material weaknesses, most notably in the following ways: (1) By establishing the Senior Assessment Team to provide oversight for Internal Controls over Financial Reporting and implementation of OMB A-123, Appendix A; and (2) By compiling and publishing a comprehensive Corrective Action Plan which includes corrective action steps for each of the 10 areas of material weakness.

Evidence: Section 3, pages 174-236, of the Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2006 Performance and Accountability Report includes (1) the Independent Auditor's Report for the Department of Homeland Security, which shows that the Coast Guard is part of all ten of DHS' material weaknesses, and (2) the Notice of Findings and Recommendations.

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: Search and Rescue commands provide continual operational feedback to program managers via Search and Rescue Situation Reports (SITREPS). Program managers review all situation reports for systemic or management problems and deficiencies. When potential management problems or deficiencies are identified, program managers initiate a "Search and Rescue Case Study" to fully investigate the situation. Any problems or deficiencies identified in the report are reviewed/corrected by the program manager. This continual process allows rapid correction of plans and procedures, and thus directly contributes to increasing performance and achieving output and outcome goals. Coast Guard Headquarters created a new Office of Financial Transformation and Compliance to include two new divisions: The Internal Control Division and the Audit Remediation Division. These divisions will serve to improve financial reporting internal controls, remediate audit findings, and aggressively pursue corrective actions.

Evidence: U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Addendum to the U.S. National SAR Supplement -- Preface & Program Overview (pages PPO-6 & 7) is the program's "Strategic Plan", and page 3-50 details the requirements for the Search and Rescue Case Study. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/manuals/cgadd/CGADD_wCH1.pdf The Coast Guard Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan for financial management shows how the Coast Guard is remediating its material weaknesses and reportable conditions.

YES 12%

Is the program managed by maintaining clearly defined deliverables, capability/performance characteristics, and appropriate, credible cost and schedule goals?

Explanation: Rescue 21, the Coast Guard's new search and rescue communications system, has experienced significant cost overruns and implementation delays in part due to inadequacies in requirements management. The Agency recently completed an integrated baseline review as part of its corrective action plan to improve business practices for this acquisition. Deepwater, the Agency's recapitalization program for air and surface assets used by the SAR Program, is managed through a performance-based contract using a Lead System Integrator, ICGS. Schedule, cost and performance data, as defined in the Acquisition Program Baseline (APB), are monitored and assessed using an earned value management system (EVMS). However, recent reviews by GAO and the DHS IG have expressed concerns with USCG oversight and management of ICGS. The Agency is currently implementing their recommendations.

Evidence: Rescue 21 - GAO Report "Improvements needed in management and oversight of rescue system acquisition" (May 2006) assessed the reasons for Rescue 21 cost overruns and delays. Deepwater - APB was approved by DHS on 15 May 2007. Quarterly Acquisition Reports to the Congress document EVMS assessment of program management and include the status of milestones, financial summaries and current contract challenges. Deepwater implementation plans regularly are reported to Congress. GAO's latest report on Deepwater program management (March 8, 2007) shows that some, but not all, of the areas of concern identified by GAO have been addressed.

NO 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 62%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: Search and Rescue (SAR) performance results for the single long-term measure are slightly lower than the preceding three years, but reflect the same general level of performance. A review of the SAR data does not indicate a specific reason the goal was not achieved, but contributing factors include delays in fielding improved SAR capabilities (e.g., Rescue 21 communications system) and the uncontrollable variables that influence the number and outcome of SAR incidents (weather, location, incident severity, life saving devices on board, etc.).

Evidence: Historical baselines back to 1964 and current performance goals are presented here: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/U_S_%20Coast%20Guard%20SAR%20Statistics%20Introduction.htm


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Baselines and targets are still under development for most annual measures. Recent CNA evaluation identifies several deficiencies in the program's performance data collection system, MISLE.

Evidence: Historic baselines back to 1964 and current performance measures are presented here: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/U_S_%20Coast%20Guard%20SAR%20Statistics%20Introduction.htm


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: The program exceeded its efficiency measure target in 2006 and appears to be on track in 2007. The program has made significant progress on efficiency initiatives, but has not yet documented quantitative or qualitative savings.

Evidence: Screen shot of Coast Guard Search and Rescue Program Future Year Homeland Security Program shows the measures, results and future targets. Resource hours expended for Search and Rescue have been on the decline while performance has increased -- thus demonstrating increased efficiencies and effectiveness. Graph of trend line of overall case count vs. resource hours expended.


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: Potentially comparable first-responder programs exist (e.g., Fire Departments). Like the SAR program, Fire Departments have a mission to save lives and property, but due to inherent differences in the scale of operations and operating environment, comparison of the two is not a valid indicator of performance for either.

Evidence: The independent operations and land-based perspective of other first-responder programs do not support a meaningful comparison.

NA 0%

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: A January 2007 independent review by the Center for Naval Analysis found that "The SAR [Search and Rescue] program is effective, regularly meeting or exceeding its annual goals. It features strong interagency cooperation, excellent doctrine, and effective mission execution." After Hurricane Katrina, the GAO evaluated the Coast Guard and made specific note of the Search and Rescue program stating, "Of the estimated 60,000 people needing to be rescued from rooftops and flooded homes, over 33,500 were saved by the Coast Guard. Precisely identifying why the Coast Guard was able to respond as it did to this disaster may be difficult, but underpinning these efforts were the agency's operational principles that promote leadership, accountability, and enable personnel to take responsibility and action, based on relevant authorities and guidance. Another significant factor that allowed the Coast Guard to confront the destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina was the agency's reliance on standardized operations and maintenance practices that allowed the Coast Guard to respond with greater flexibility using a mix of personnel and assets from any operational unit. Having up-to-date and regularly exercised hurricane plans was another factor that the Coast Guard employed to prepare for Hurricane Katrina enabling the agency to implement its plans to confront the hurricane by first preserving Coast Guard personnel and resources and then quickly responding with search and rescue assistance".

Evidence: The following reports show that the Search and Rescue Program is effective and achieving results: (1) "Is the USCG Search and Rescue Program Working?", CNA report CRM D0015352.A2 January 2007, and (2) the General Accountability Office Report 06-903 about Hurricane Katrina.

YES 20%

Were program goals achieved within budgeted costs and established schedules?

Explanation: There has been some success with delivery of air assets that support the USCG SAR program. Most notably the HH65 Re-Engine program which has delivered 84 of 95 aircraft within the budgeted cost and established schedule. Phase I and Phase II of the C4ISR Upgrades to Legacy cutters were completed on schedule and within budget, significantly improving the operational capabilities on 39 legacy cutters. Contracts for surface assets under the Deepwater program are experiencing significant cost overruns and schedule delays that adversely impact mitigation of the gap in requisite patrol boat hours. Rescue 21 reported greater than 10% cost variance from planned values and slipped on major schedule milestones in 2006.

Evidence: GAO/IG reports, USCG testimony to Congress.

Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 53%

Last updated: 09062008.2007SPR