|Program Title||International Trade Administration: Market Access and Compliance|
|Department Name||Department of Commerce|
|Agency/Bureau Name||International Trade Administration|
Direct Federal Program
|Assessment Rating||Moderately Effective|
|Assessment Section Scores||
|Program Funding Level
|Year Began||Improvement Plan||Status||Comments|
Develop a plan for resource needs with other trade compliance agencies to streamline the Government's market access and trade compliance efforts.
|Action taken, but not completed||MAC will consider the results of the US&FCS PART review scheduled for completion in FY 2008 as a component of this plan. ITA will determine the approach to inventory other agencies and conduct an inventory in FY 2008.|
Complete an evaluation that assesses the impact MAC has on identifying and removing trade barriers.
|No action taken||ITA will prepare a study plan in FY 2008 and determine if this will be completed by contract or in-house. These decisions are subject to resource availability and workload. ITA will begin the study in FY 2008 and targets completion during FY 2009.|
|Year Began||Improvement Plan||Status||Comments|
Measure: Percentage of cases concluded successfully
Explanation:This measure shows the number of cases concluded successfully as a percentage of cases concluded in a given year. This measure encourages MAC staff to successfully conclude market access and compliance cases and requires MAC to undertake process changes to reach and maintain the 2010 goal.
Measure: Number of Market Access and Compliance Cases Initiated
Explanation:This measure shows the total number of new cases initiated and encourages MAC staff to initiate new cases. By encouraging more cases, this measure pushes MAC staff to seek out possible compliance problems. MAC is currently undertaking and has plans to undertake more outreach activities to reach and maintain the 2010 goal.
Measure: Number of Market Access Cases Concluded
Explanation:This measure shows the total number of market access and compliance cases concluded by ITA staff for non-agricultural U.S. exports in a given fiscal year. This measure gauges ITA's ability to process and conclude market access and compliance cases on behalf of U.S. business. This measure helps push MAC staff to pursue and complete cases. MAC recently initiated clearer guidelines on measuring when a case is concluded and is undertaking process changes to reach and maintain the 2010 goal.
Measure: Percent of MAC Cases that have an Action Plan/ Success Definition within 10 Business Days of Initiation
Explanation:This measures the percent of cases for which ITA develops an action plan and a definition of success within ten business days of the initiation of a case. This measure encourages MAC staff to work with clients to quickly develop action plans and definitions of success for cases that are initiated. By doing this, both the customer and MAC staff understand and agree upon a goal representing successful completion early in the lifecycle of the case.
Measure: Value of cases concluded successfully (in U.S. Dollars)
Explanation:This measures the estimated cost of a particular trade barrier removed. This measure gauges the impact of trade barriers removed on behalf of a specific company or industry. This measure tends to fluctuate over time.
Measure: Percentage of MAC cases concluded annually
Explanation:The percentage of MAC cases concluded by ITA staff for non-agricultural U.S. exports in a given fiscal year. This shows the number of cases concluded as a percentage of the total cases in a given year. The measure pushes MAC staff to work on cases and decrease the backlog.
Measure: Percent of MAC Cases Initiated on Behalf of SMEs
Explanation:The total number of market access and compliance cases initiated in a given fiscal year where the complainant is a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) (SME: 500 or fewer employees). This measure gauges the number of SMEs experiencing problems with trade barriers that are served by ITA in a given year. The target is raised yearly to ensure constant efforts to seek more SMEs to assist.
Measure: Annual average cost-per case concluded
Explanation:This measure tracks average amount of resources that go into cases concluded. The measure encourages MAC to use fewer resources to conclude a case.
|Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design|
Is the program purpose clear?
Explanation: MAC's mission is to help U.S. firms overcome trade barriers in foreign markets and develop the groundwork for greater market access by supporting trade negotiations, ensuring the full and fair implementation of trade agreements, and advancing open markets for U.S. goods and services across the globe.
Evidence: 1. The Act of February 14, 1903 as amended (15 U.S.C. 1512 et seq.; 15 U.S.C. 171 et seq.) to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce of the United States, and related provisions; 2. Section 2(a) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1979 regarding "general operational responsibilities for major non-agricultural international trade functions of the United States Government," including "export development," "commercial representation abroad," "research and analysis," and "monitoring compliance with international trade agreements to which the United States is a party"; 3. Section 129(b), (c), and (d) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 3538(b), (c), and (d)), relating to actions by the "administering authority" as to World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel reports; 4. Functions of the Secretary of Commerce under the following sections of the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-511, 22 U.S.C. 5801 et seq.) 5. MAC program functions are described in Section 6 DOC Department Organization Order 40-1. 6. MAC states its mission in concise and unambiguous terms in the Department of Commerce Budget Appendix, " MAC maintains in-depth knowledge of the trade policies of our trading partners. It monitors foreign country compliance with numerous multilateral and bilateral trade-related agreements, identifying compliance problems and other market access obstacles to unlock foreign markets for American goods and services country- by-country and region-by-region??.MAC develops both current and long-term market access strategies, including information needed to conduct trade negotiations to open markets." 7. Glossary of Acronyms
Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?
Explanation: The United States government has an interest in ensuring that its trading partners abide by trade agreement rules. The government also has an interest in ensuring that U.S. companies enter foreign markets on a level-playing field. Foreign compliance with negotiated trade agreements and U.S. access to foreign markets are existing issues that in many circumstances can only be handled at the Federal level by the U.S. Government. Many small and medium sized companies do not have the resources, knowledge or leverage to impact market access issues. MAC addresses market access and compliance problems by monitoring trade barriers, assisting companies with foreign market access issues, and supporting the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in negotiating trade agreements.
Evidence: 1. The March 2000 GAO report on the Strategy Needed to Better Monitor and Enforce Trade Agreements, recognized that MAC plays an important role in ensuring that companies have access to foreign markets, "Commerce has general responsibility for major nonagricultural trade functions of the U.S. government, including monitoring and taking certain steps to secure compliance with trade agreements and ensuring that U.S. companies have access to foreign markets" (pages 31-32). Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns00076.pdf 2. ITA Strategic Plan, "Addressing Customer Expectations" Link: http://www.ita.doc.gov/ooms/ITAMeasures/ITAStrategicPlan.pdf. The Plan on page 6 states: "ITA's customers are U.S. businesses. To export successfully in a fair trade environment, U.S. firms have five basic needs: ?? Awareness of export opportunities and benefits ?? Access to new markets ?? Entry to markets ?? Expansion of export activities ?? Protection from unfair competitive practices 3. Website describing how the program addresses a specific problem and need: http://www.mac.doc.gov/MACMain/AboutMAC.html 4. The MAC website of the TCC's Trade and Related Agreements Database (TARA) includes active, binding agreements between the United States and its trading partners covering manufactured products and services located at: http://tcc.export.gov/Trade_Agreements/index.asp
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?
Explanation: To prevent overlap with other Federal agencies, MAC has clarified its mission over time to focus on trade agreement compliance and combating market access barriers relating to non-agricultural goods and services. Although several Federal Agencies are involved in trade compliance, each agency's role is delineated to compliment the roles of other agencies. MAC's counterpart agency for U.S. agriculture products is the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which works to improve foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products. The State Department actively participates in the policymaking process to ensure that U.S. foreign policy goals are fully considered in the formulation of U.S. trade policy. Other agencies such as USTR are responsible for coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. MAC's officers work closely with U.S. industry to identify foreign trade barriers, implement trade compliance monitoring programs, and support USTR's efforts to negotiate trade agreements. ITA has also established a Strategic Planning Leadership Team (SPLT) that meets regularly to discuss ways to avoid duplication in ITA products and services and to oversee implementation of the ITA Strategic Plan.
Evidence: 1. DOC Department Organization Order 10-3, Amendment 2 (Effective 7/9/96). Link: http://126.96.36.199/cgi-bin/doit.cgi?204:112:71f6c7f627a123f77bb3ac54326e35d9e06f269fad261af900f8352154683579:251 2. DOC Department Organization Order 40-1, Amendment 2 (Effective 7/9/96) These Amendments renamed the Secretarial Officer from Assistant Secretary for International Economic Policy to Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance (MAC), established the MAC Deputy Assistant Secretary for Agreements Compliance, and revised the functions to ensure compliance with trade agreements and to support firms facing market access issues related to non-compliance with trade agreements. http://188.8.131.52/cgi-bin/doit.cgi?204:112:71f6c7f627a123f77bb3ac54326e35d9e06f269fad261af900f8352154683579:235 3. ITA Organization and Function Order 41-1, Amendment 4 (Effective 3/25/97) This amendment includes the changes in titles, delegations and revised responsibilities of the MAC program. 4. Section 6 DOC Department Organization Order 40-1 (See Q1.1) 5. FY 2008 President's Budget Request Appendix Link: /omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/appendix/com.pdf MAC develops strategies to overcome market access obstacles faced by U.S. businesses by monitoring foreign country compliance with multilateral and bilateral trade-related agreements and by identifying compliance and other market access obstacles. MAC works with other Government agencies to address barriers, and to ensure that U.S. firms know how to use market opening agreements and to find other opportunities in traditional and emerging markets. It develops both current and long-term market access strategies, including information needed to conduct trade negotiations to open markets. MAC also provides support for the operation of the established Free Trade Agreement Secretariats. 6. The March 2000 GAO report on the Strategy Needed to Better Monitor and Enforce Trade Agreements. See Q1.2.
Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?
Explanation: MAC has also conducted extensive reviews of its business processes. With the help of Accenture, MAC developed process maps for each of the International Trade Administration's (ITA) programs' core responsibilities to help enhance interaction with other ITA and government programs and avoid overlap. MAC has identified areas for heightened focus including; trade compliance in China, non-tariff barriers, intellectual property rights, and advancement, in conjunction with USTR, of free trade agreements. Also, MAC's first PART review by OMB in FY 2005 led to the development of an action plan by MAC leadership that was implemented by the unit's staff. The Market Access and Compliance (MAC) program self-initiated a series of management reviews in FY2006 to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The resulting Training, Outreach, Partnering, Management, Analysis and Casework (TOPMAC) report features several recommendations that try to reduce structural inefficiencies and better integrate employee performance with annual strategic plans.
Evidence: 1. Creation of the Trade Compliance Center 2. GAO-04-301T Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04301t.pdf 3. GAO-05-53 Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0553.pdf 4. GAO/NSIAD-00-76 Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns00076.pdf 5. Inspector General Final Inspection Report, "Trade Compliance Efforts Need Improved Coordination", IPE-14282/March 2002 6. Summary of ITA's Core Business Processes, August 2004. MAC has conducted extensive business process mapping in conjunction with ITA's reorganization to assess its business operations and ensure that the design is free of flaws and operates both efficiently and effectively. 7. MAC developed a strategy map in March and April 2006 to improve the focus of its organization, the understanding of its program drivers and to drive the MAC strategy towards an impact to "Enhance American Standard of Living". MAC Strategy Map
Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?
Explanation: The program's resources largely consist of MAC staff that supply services to businesses with market access and compliance issues. MAC regional staffs are integrated into all MAC program operations through the DAS for Trade Agreements and Compliance and the Trade Compliance Center (TCC). Resources are adjusted as required to address unfolding situations during the fiscal year. The primary beneficiaries are U.S. businesses who want to sell their products or services overseas; the primary benefit is increased or retained market access leading to increased U.S. exports and economic development. MAC achieves this outcome by supporting negotiation of additional FTAs, through market access and compliance casework, and through engagement and advancement of bilateral and multilateral market access trade policy issues. MAC has targeted its strategy and annual priorities based on the President's Trade Agenda and the Commerce and ITA Strategic Plans. MAC developed a strategy map to ensure the program's results are directly related to the overall benefit of clients. This effort, the Balanced Scorecard and TOPMAC report refocused efforts to emphasize knowledge and skill development of MAC officers and outreach strategies for private sector customers to ensure the best use of U.S. Government resources.
Evidence: 1. The increase in staff dedicated to China is a strong example of where resources have been deployed to reach intended beneficiaries and address the program's purpose directly. MAC's staff for China went from 4 staff in 1998 to 18 in 2004, plus two compliance specialists stationed in Beijing. The increase was in response to China's accession to the WTO and the anticipated increase in trade compliance casework and activities. 2. Trade compliance in China is a significant issue for U.S. firms as China acceded into the World Trade Organization. MAC has created a technical assistance program to educate Chinese officials and businesses on their obligations under the WTO potentially preventing some future trade barriers in such areas as intellectual property rights protection, standards, and rule of law. 3. The Trade Compliance Center, through its website (www.tcc.mac.doc.gov), provides a window for U.S. firms to review the full text of non-agricultural trade and related agreements in effect between the United States and countries around the world. In addition, U.S. firms can easily report compliance and other market access problems they have encountered. 4. MAC enables clients to report a trade barrier at http://tcc.export.gov/Report_a_Barrier/index.asp 5. MAC lists over 275 trade agreements on the TCC website as a service to beneficiaries. Its is located at http://tcc.export.gov/Trade_Agreements/index.asp 6. Summary of ITA's Core Business Processes, August 2004 7. 2007 President's Economic Report, pages 169-175
|Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design||Score||100%|
|Section 2 - Strategic Planning|
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 long-term goal for the Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Unit is to "ensure fair competition in International Trade." This goal is reflected in the ITA Strategic plan and supports the Department of Commerce's objective to "advance responsible economic growth and trade while protecting American security." MAC has three long term performance measures. Two of those measures, the "number of cases initiated" and the "number of cases concluded' are output measures that have been in place since 2003. While these measures encourage MAC to initiate and complete cases, they do not measure whether a market entry barrier was removed. To better assess overall goals, MAC introduced a measure of the percentage of cases successfully concluded. The measure requires MAC to define success and reduce the case backlog with successful resolutions over the long-term. As MAC moves forward with its efforts to successfully conclude cases, it should explore ways to measure permanence and economic impact of the program's activities including the percentage of market barriers that reoccur within five years after removal or the economic value of trading that occurs five years after a barrier was successfully removed.
Evidence: 1. FY 2008 President's Budget Request (pages 13-15) Link: /omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/appendix/com.pdf 2. FY 2007 President's Budget Request, pages 215-217 /omb/budget/fy2007/pdf/appendix/com.pdf 3. FY 2002-2006 Strategic Plan (pages 10-18) Link: http://www.ita.doc.gov/ooms/ITAMeasures/ITAStrategicPlan.pdf 4. FY 2007-2012 Strategic Plan 5. FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report, pages 10, 76-82, 298-299 http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf
Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?
Explanation: MAC has targets and timeframes for its new and existing measures. The 2010 target for the number of cases initiated requires an 18 percent increase from the 2006 actual. The 2012 target for the number of cases concluded requires a 14 percent increase over the 2006 actual. Finally, MAC must reach and maintain 50 percent of cases successfully concluded by 2010. MAC almost reached the 50 percent target in 2006 during the first year data was collected. However, this probably represents cases that were less difficult in the backlog. To reach and maintain this success rate by 2010, MAC will need to successfully conclude more difficult cases and continue undertaking process changes, as MAC did by instituting clearer definitions of success.
Evidence: 1. FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf 2. ITA Customer Survey 3. FY 2008 President's Budget Request (page ITA-20) Link: /omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/appendix/com.pdf
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: To better track outcomes and stakeholder expectations, the Market Access and Compliance (MAC) program added measures to track the dollar value of cases concluded successfully along with a measure of the percentage of cases that have a definition of success within 10 business days and percentage of cases initiated on behalf of small-and-medium (SME) sized businesses. MAC also has data back to 2005 for the average annual cost per case concluded.
Evidence: 1. FY 2008 President's Budget Request Link: /omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/appendix/com.pdf 2. FY 2007 President's Budget Request 3. FY 2008 President's Budget Request 4. FY 2002-2006 Strategic Plan (pages 10-18) Link: http://www.ita.doc.gov/ooms/ITAMeasures/ITAStrategicPlan.pdf 5. ITA FY 2007-2011 Strategic Plan 6. FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf
Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?
Explanation: The Market Access and Compliance (MAC) program's targets for percentage of cases initiated on behalf of small-and-medium (SME) sized businesses requires an 11 percentage point increase over the 2006 actual, while the percentage of cases concluded requires a two percentage point increase from 2007 to 2008 and 2008 to 2009. Average cost per case concluded and value of cases concluded has varied substantially. MAC should monitor these measures and update them as more data becomes available.
Evidence: 1. FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf 2. Annual Targets for Cases Resolved
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: MAC's partners generally fall into four categories: ITA, other DOC bureaus, other government agencies, and the private sector. MAC's internal partners are the Commercial Service (CS), Manufacturing and Services, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The CS is a key partner that conducts outreach with U.S. businesses in their domestic offices and interacts directly with foreign government officials overseas to solve trade barriers. Individual Commercial Service officers' performance plans include a component on market access and compliance cases. MAS provides industry analysis in foreign market and regulatory structures. MAC and PTO collaborated on the STOP! Initiative. MAC partners with NIST on standards issues, such as ensuring proactive involvement with standards setting bodies worldwide and resolving standards-related cases. Outside of the DOC, MAC works on formulating and implementing trade policy with USTR, the State Department, and the Small Business Administration (SBA). MAC also participates in the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), where they report on MAC's progress in meeting interagency goals. In response to GAO and IG reports, MAC has taken several steps to increase collaboration with other agencies and units within ITA. These steps include better staff training and communication on trade compliance issues. Also, CS performance plans now put collaboration on market access cases as a core activity. However, MAC, along with other trade compliance agencies, has yet to implement one of GAO's core recommendations to develop an interagency strategy for assessing and planning resource needs to monitor and enforce trade agreements. As the ITA unit responsible for coordinating ITA compliance and market access efforts, MAC should also jointly develop with CS a single formal PART measure that quantifies the cases successfully concluded in partnership with the CS.
Evidence: 1. GAO/NSIAD-00-76 (pages 30-32) http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns00076.pdf 2. US&FCS and MAS devote resources to support trade compliance as depicted in Geographic Distribution of ITA's compliance FTE FY2006 President Budget Request (ITA-11) 3. Summary of ITA's Core Business Processes, August 2004 4. ITA 2007-2012 Strategic Plan Hierarchy 5. Congressional Compliance Liaison Letter 6. Afton Chemical Letter 7. Commercial Service Performance Plan Guidance 8. Chamber NTF Guidelines (a specific mention of MAC/TAC in it) 9. NAM website: www.nam.org
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: GAO and IG studies of MAC programs in the past five years have focused on the strategy needed to better enforce trade agreements, the human capital needs facing trade agencies and the opportunities to ensure China's compliance with WTO commitments. GAO's June 2005 report (GAO-05-537) highlights the outreach efforts the Department of Commerce makes to identify and assist companies facing foreign trade barriers, informal and formal training efforts, and other systematic monitoring activities. The March 2002 Inspector General Report, "Trade Compliance Efforts Need Improved Coordination" provided an independent assessment of the International Trade Administration's (ITA) trade compliance responsibilities, particularly the activities of the Trade Compliance Center. The report "analyzed how ITA compliance efforts could best be coordinated and tracked to ensure that compliance activities were being fully reported, trade agreements were being adhered to, and market access problems were being addressed" (IPE-14282, page i). An Action Plan was implemented in response to the IG's findings. MAC participated in an ITA-wide customer satisfaction survey in 2005 as a follow-up to the 2003 survey of ITA customers. The Program Unit uses the two years between customer satisfaction surveys to make improvements to its processes, products and services. MAC recently commissioned a follow-up independent survey and focus group of current and prospective clients to gauge its effectiveness in understanding and meeting the exporting needs of U.S. Industry.
Evidence: 1. GAO-04-301T http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04301t.pdf 2. GAO-05-53 http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0553.pdf 3. GAO/NSIAD-00-76 http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns00076.pdf 4. Inspector General Final Inspection Report, "Trade Compliance Efforts Need Improved Coordination", IPE-14282/March 2002 and MAC Action Plan 5. Customer Satisfaction Survey Justification Package and Findings
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: MAC's goals and objectives, as defined in the ITA Strategic Plan, drive its budget formulation process. Once the fiscal budget is appropriated and signed into law, MAC receives an allocation and expenditures are tracked by goal and reported quarterly to senior ITA and Departmental management. ITA senior management briefs the Deputy Secretary quarterly on ITA's performance results, key program initiatives, and expenditures (obligations) by goal. This process allows ITA to more closely link its financial results to performance. ITA's budget is prepared and presented by its long-term performance goals and requests are explicitly tied to accomplishment of goals. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for MAC allocates and monitors budget for four regional programs (each headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the SES level), and the Trade Agreements and Compliance unit allowing management to assess the resources that assigned to those sub-programs. Budget execution, staffing, and performance targets are adjusted annually through a combination of baseline trends, external factors unique to the current fiscal year (world events), and Administration priorities. Some additional factors in the allocation process include Congressional directives, Presidential priorities, new trade policies, number of cases identified by U.S. businesses, and global economic conditions that impact the program results. MAC has revised funding and headcount for several of its sub-units based on performance and priorities in the previous fiscal year. MAC's program budget justifications and proposed increase requests are related to ITA strategic priorities and organized by strategic goal to ensure that resources tie directly to MAC's mission. In the President's Budget, the Executive Summary, base narrative, and APP sections of the budget all demonstrate the impact of funding on expected performance as well as the resource mix required to achieve program goals. For FY 2007, MAC has taken a new approach to allocating annual budgets to its sub-units (headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary-DAS).
Evidence: 1. FY 2008 President's Budget Request (pages 13-15) Link: /omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/appendix/com.pdf 2. FY 2007 President's Budget Request, pages 215-217 /omb/budget/fy2007/pdf/appendix/com.pdf 3. MAC 2007 Budget Allocation Memo
Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?
Explanation: In FY 2006, MAC's Balanced Scorecard and TOPMAC report identified areas for improvement, such as learning and growth needs, business processes, and the financial allocation process. The report then made recommendations to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. As mentioned in Question 2.4, MAC recast its annual and long-term performance measures to ensure that they are more outcome-oriented and make analyses of efficiency easier. Desk officer performance plans and goals are derived from DOC and ITA strategic goals and objectives. All desk officers are evaluated on annual performance targets and their top three policy milestones for the year. During the fiscal year, MAC's Policy Coordination office works closely with ITA and DOC stakeholders, as well as ITA partners, to address new strategic priorities (e.g. world crises) or economic trends affecting U.S. exports. Under the new, five-level performance system, MAC management ensured that all desk officers included their top three trade policy projects and priorities for the year. These "top 3s" were then rolled-up into the strategic plans for each Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) - aligning employee performance with MAC, ITA, and Department goals. Casework, including measures to push for initiation and conclusion of cases, is an element of all DAS performance plans and desk officers' plans. MAC also addressed all of the recommendations identified in the March 2002 IG report.
Evidence: FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report, pages 10, 76-82, 298-299 http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf 2. The October 2004 GAO report on "U.S.-China Trade" recognized how the reorganization increased the U.S. Government's focus on China compliance, "Specifically, the Congress called for Commerce to reorganize and dedicate more resources to China compliance efforts by, among other things, establishing an enforcement office with the Market Access and Compliance division to provide legal and investigative assistance to companies seeking to enforce their rights under existing trade agreements . . .." GAO-05-53 (page 33) http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0553.pdf 3. Summary of reorganization recommendations 4. Five-Level Performance System http://www.ita.doc.gov/hrm/documents/pmsfactsheet.pdf
|Section 2 - Strategic Planning||Score||88%|
|Section 3 - Program Management|
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: Performance information is collected in the Compliance and Market Access Database maintained by the Trade Compliance Center. Information is collected on a daily basis from multiple sources including Commercial Service (CS) field staff, MAS trade analysts, and MAC desk officers. Data is reported to program managers on a monthly basis and to senior managers every quarter. The database enables MAC to effectively manage cases by providing the ability to work more effectively as a team, share information, document case development, and evaluate the progress of compliance cases. It assists managers in addressing employee workload and assessing year-end performance evaluations. The case data also enables MAC's leadership to identify trends and adjust program resources to meet these new priorities. MAC recently revised its case procedures to enhance responsibility and accountability for case management. The revised procedures define an action officer and his responsibilities to ensure progress and the requirement for team concurrence and clearance. Starting in FY 2007, MAC and the CS are working together on a shared client tracking system (CTS). This system will provide a common interface for one of MAC's primary partners in initiating and resolving cases. The CTS will increase performance integration within ITA and help ensure that accountability and case results are accessible to MAC and CS managers. The CTS will show existing performance information and facilitate information transfer between MAC and CS. The CTS also reduces the number of IT systems used to track clients and cases, which should create a more efficient tracking system. In FY 2007, MAC began implementing a Budget-Performance Integration plan, where MAC subunits would be eligible for bonuses in "other object" class funding, if the unit exceeds the "cases concluded" measure.
Evidence: 1. MAC Trade Compliance Center Database 2. PBViews Database 3. MAC 2007 Budget Allocation Memo 4. Sample Case 5. Client Tracking System powerpoint 6. Case Definitions
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: Federal managers and program partners are held accountable for cost, schedule, and performance results through annual office-level operating plans and staff-level performance plans that are linked to the International Trade Administration's (ITA) goals and objectives. Both types of plans are specific and performance-based and follow standard templates to ensure consistency. MAC ensures performance accountability through management controls, partnering, and annual performance metrics. All of MAC's Senior Executive Service (SES)-level managers are responsible for achieving key program results, and are evaluated quarterly on their annual progress. For instance, MAC managers are held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results through performance-based plans. The Assistant Secretary and Executive Director regularly meet with MAC's Deputy Assistant Secretaries (DAS) to ensure accountability through annual SES performance plans, with appraisals linked to program performance, financial management, and other elements dedicated to efficiency and accountability. A 5-level performance evaluation system was re-introduced in FY 2006 that makes distinctions between various levels of performance and recognizes strong and weak performers. MAC's performance management process is used to communicate organizational goals and objectives, reinforce individual accountability for meeting those goals, and track and evaluate individual and organizational performance results. CS and MAS staff are held accountable through "case teams." These teams are held to a set of guidelines and case standards to help ensure uniformity, timeliness in execution, and define which team members have the lead. Teams are aware of all the case related measures, and mid-management has been trained in how to monitor case team work to help ensure progress, milestones and measures are met. CS officers are also held accountable through an element of their individual performance plans regarding Compliance and Market Access work. Partners are also held accountable through Designated Monitoring Officers' (DMO) responsibilities, where an official is required to track developments in trade agreements. Performance data are reviewed by MAC management and reported quarterly through the PB Views system.
Evidence: 1. Annual SES Performance Plans 2. Five-Level Performance Plan Memo 3. Case Guidelines 4. Budget Performance Integration memo 5. Trade Agreement Compliance and Monitoring Cable 6. Sample Performance Plan - Annual Performance Plans for all MAC managers includes a critical element dedicated to management and performance measures. Performance appraisals for MAS trade and industry specialists are linked to outcomes and results. 7. Senior Executive Service (SES) performance plans have mandatory critical elements regarding financial performance.
Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?
Explanation: In FY 2006, MAC obligated 99.99% of its appropriated budget. Appropriated funding for MAC is obligated in a timely manner based on annual fiscal plans detailing expected expenditures for all accounts. MAC has established procedures for reporting and tracking expenditures in order to allow management to verify that funds are spent appropriately and that obligations are consistent with the overall program plan. Managers verify this information by presenting spending plans for MAC management review to ensure that program funds are spent for intended purposes. Managers revisit funding levels every quarter and adjust as needed. MAC is compliant in distributing funds in accordance with statutory requirements. MAC also performs monthly variance analysis and projections at the unit and aggregate level. ITA's Office of Financial Management provides general oversight of MAC's budget execution. Expenditures are reviewed by budget analysts in ITA and through ITA's financial services provider to ensure that the transactions are properly recorded and conform to Federal guidelines. In addition, program partners are also required to ensure that funds are obligated in a timely manner based on annual fiscal plans detailing expected expenditures and obligations for all accounts.
Evidence: 1. FY 2007 Close 2. MAC's Standard Operating Procedures for budget variance analysis
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: MAC has regular procedures in place to achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness. MAC experienced cost efficiencies in the annual cost of trade data used by desk officers, which accounts for approximately 10 percent of workload. For the past five years, the cost of trade data per employee dropped by 23% from $606 per capita in 2000 to a current rate of $465. In addition, the average cost per case concluded declined almost 40% from $307,000 in FY 2005 to $186,000 in FY 2007. As noted in question 3.1, MAC will collaborate with CS in implementing an ITA-wide client tracking system that will have several cost saving features and may reduce the cost per case concluded. First, all of ITA will be part of the same client tracking system, reducing hardware costs and system administrator overhead costs. Second, clients can be transitioned between each ITA unit more effectively, reducing response time for customers, ensuring that clients reach the correct specialist for their needs, and allowing shared access to a customer's history. MAC also improves its efficiency in achieving goals each year by maximizing the use of learning and growth resources (as identified in the TOPMAC report and the skills competency model detailed in question 3.7) via staffing flexibility, training, etc. As noted in question 3.7, MAC will seek efficiencies through a complete review of skills and training needs. The benefit will be to improve employee effectiveness and create economies of scale for enterprise-wide training programs.
Evidence: 1. MAC Trade Compliance Center Database 2. TOPMAC 3. Skills Assessment
Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?
Explanation: While MAC did not receive credit in question 2.5 because better overall coordination of compliance efforts can be achieved, MAC does collaborate with intra and inter-agency programs to identify and overcome trade agreement compliance problems. The development of the new Customer Tracking System should help lead to further collaboration between the Commercial Service (CS) and the Market Access and Compliance (MAC) unit. MAC's country/regional experts also communicate with the U.S. business community, both in the United States and through the American Chambers of Commerce around the world. This collaboration provides an avenue to identify current or potential trade barriers and trade agreement compliance problems. MAC participates in the interagency TPSC and its subcommittees. This interagency committee is chaired by USTR and coordinates the implementation of U.S. trade policy. MAC often prepares the Commerce Department views and analysis for the committee's work. MAC's recommendations to USTR give an on-the-ground understanding of industry needs. MAC also works closely with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service on compliance matters and has assisted the FAS to implement MAC's best practices involving case management. MAC also collaborates with other organizations in the protection of intellectual property rights through the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative. As part of the initiative, MAC helped create an online training module for Small-Medium-sized-Enterprises' (SME), partnered with the American Bar Association to provide free legal consultation to U.S. firms, helped create with the Patent and Trademark Office intellectual property rights toolkits that provided step-by-step instructions to registering a patent in key foreign markets, and partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help firms ensure that pirated goods are not in supply chains.
Evidence: 1. http://www.ustr.gov/Who_We_Are/Executive_Branch_Agencies_on_the_Trade_Policy_Staff_Committee_the_Trade_Policy_Review_Group.html 2. http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/Reports_Publications/2005/2005_Trade_Policy_Agenda/asset_upload_file106_7317.pdf 3. SBA Letter and Press Release 4. IPR Activities Listing 5. Trade Compliance Center Successes 6. Case Sources
Does the program use strong financial management practices?
Explanation: ITA is free of material internal control weaknesses, as reported by auditors and as reported in the annual assurance statement. ITA has received a clean audit since FY 2000 and there have been no deficiencies reported within the Program Units. Systems for identifying and correcting deficiencies in program management exist within the program. On an annual basis MAC certifies that it has addressed deficiencies and that effective management controls are in place. Each MAC Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) has a performance plan that complies with SES standards for financial management. MAC believes their Budget-Performance integration plan will also motivate DASs to exercise strong financial management.
Evidence: 1. Compliance with the Prompt Payment Act 2. Audit findings report that ITA has no reportable conditions 3. Performance and Accountability Report Compliance with internal controls http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/04APPR/APPB.pdf 4. SES managers performance plan 5. MAC Letter of Assurance
Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?
Explanation: Every fiscal year, MAC's Assistant Secretary signs an assurance letter that addresses fiscal, property, personnel, performance and administrative conformity with U.S. laws and government standards. The assurance letter also addresses any internal management reviews as well as GAO and IG reports and proposes actions to address any findings. In FY 2006, MAC self-initiated and implemented a Balanced Scorecard that defined key elements in MAC's business processes, began integrating goals and budget, and identified top-level outcomes for stakeholders and customers. The results of this Scorecard are contained in the TOPMAC report. 1) Training: Established the role of learning and growth needs for MAC employees. Combined with the Analysis section, MAC has undertaken new training for all desk officers to better develop and present persuasive arguments to use in discussions with foreign governments. 2) Outreach and Partnering: Recast approaches in these areas, especially with ITA partners such as CS, through USEAC visits and longer-term assignments for CS and MAC officers. 3) Management: Implement the Budget-Performance Integration plan, outline policy milestones for the upcoming year, and utilize strategic planning documents by connecting employee performance plans into unit-level strategic plans. 4) Analysis & Cases: Clearly defining case work and improving the process of initiating, concluding, and measuring case work. This approach was reinforced by an informal study of a "typical desk officer day," that categorized the different types of activities, and time associated with them. The review of case procedures helped to address certain management oversight deficiencies and to enhance accountability and responsibility at the regional office level. For FY 2007, MAC has undertaken a review of its staffing, grade structure, and resource allocation. MAC has focused on three areas in its staff review; 1) (Right Shape): Does MAC have the right balance of skills for the average desk officer? Additional factors include retention strategies, recruitment needs, developing inter-ITA assignments to enhance country skills, and other quality of life issues for the workplace. 2) Coverage (Right Depth) - MAC is responsible for providing economic, political, and market access expertise on all foreign economies for the Commerce Department. MAC plans to develop a firm methodology for aligning country coverage with staffing and 3) Allocation (Right Size): Are there efficiencies that can be gained in MAC's personnel structure? Are priority countries and issues adequately covered and do they increase performance metrics?
Evidence: 1. TOPMAC Report 2. MAC Employee Composition Analysis 3. FY 2005-2006 Integrity Act Reports - Management and Program Reviews (MPRs) 4. Inspector General Action Plan 5. GAO Report to the Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives Inspector General Final Inspection Report, "Trade Compliance Efforts Need Improved Coordination", IPE-14282/March 2002
|Section 3 - Program Management||Score||100%|
|Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability|
Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?
Explanation: MAC is now in its fifth year of collecting data for its long-term (5 year) output performance measures of cases initiated and concluded. MAC is on target to meet and exceed the targets for these measures. The program unit was able to reach the targets by engaging U.S. government and private sector partners. MAC receives only partial credit because actual data for its more meaningful outcome measure, the percentage of cases concluded successfully, is limited. To reach and maintain the 2010 goal, MAC will need to continue to undertake process changes to finishes cases in the backlog and reach successful outcomes.
Evidence: 1. FY 2006 Performance and Accountability report http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/Budget/06APPR/PAR06.pdf 2. Ten Day Action Plan Measure 3. Customer Satisfaction Survey Justification Package
Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?
Explanation: In 2006, the outcome measure of percentage of cases concluded successfully was first reported. MAC exceeded the target by 27 percentage points. This result could be a sign of improving casework, conservative targets, or an anomalous year. MAC missed the target on the percent of cases that have a definition of success within 10 days by 10 percentage points and reported slightly under the target on the cases concluded annually. Average cost per case concluded was cut to $180,000 in 2006. All of MAC's measures, are relatively new. MAC should continue track them closely and adjust targets based on actual experience.
Evidence: 1. FY 2006 Annual Performance and Accountability Report 2. FY 2006 ITA Strategic Plan 3. Sources of Casework
Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?
Explanation: MAC benefited from reductions in the annual cost of trade data used by desk officers. The cost per employee has fallen from $606 per employee to a current rate of $465 per employee. MAC is also participating in an ITA-wide review of trade data that could generate additional cost efficiencies. MAC has also used Webinars and Digital Video Conferences to cut down on travel expenses. In addition, the average cost for cases concluded declined from $307,000 in FY 2005 to $180,000 in FY 2006. This large reduction reflects improved focus on outcomes through the adoption of a plan for success at the beginning of compliance cases. This allowed MAC to more clearly delineate roles and use labor more efficiently. Also, many of the cases concluded may have been less labor intensive than other cases in the backlog.
Evidence: 1. Trade Data, Webinars/DVCs estimation sheet 2. Average Cost per Case
Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?
Explanation: No formal evaluations have reviewed MAC's performance compared to with the most comparable Federal agency, the USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). In some areas, MAC compares favorably to the FAS program. In fact, MAC assisted the FAS in implementing MAC's best practices involving case management and provided advice on other strategic planning areas. A 2005 GAO report said that many trade agency officials felt that MAC's overseas presence was valuable. Also, a 2002 GAO report looked at the Federal government's efforts to monitor and enforce trade agreements. The report did not find any specific area where MAC was lacking in comparison to other programs. MAC also scored higher than the Federal government average on a Customer Satisfaction survey.
Evidence: 1. http://www.fas.usda.gov/ 2. GAO/NSIAD-00-76 (pages 5-10) http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ns00076.pdf 3.GAO 2005 Report: International Trade: Further Improvements Needed to Handle Growing Workload for Monitoring and Enforcing Trade Agreements, GAO-05-537, June 30, 2005.
Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?
Explanation: In the 2007 Economic Report to the President, the CEA noted the importance of the Commerce Department (MAC's) efforts to reduce foreign non-tariff barriers (NTBs). MAC has initiated a collaborative effort with the CEA on a report to quantify the economic impact of foreign trade barriers using a detailed analysis of the United States' top 50 export markets compared with the primary types of barriers affecting key U.S. industrial segments. The June 2005 GAO Report (GAO-05-537) highlighted outreach efforts the Department of Commerce makes to identify and assist companies facing foreign trade barriers. By the end of the third quarter of FY 2007, MAC expects a report from Charney Research that should help answer the following questions: does MAC offer the right set of services to assist U.S. exporters to overcome foreign trade barriers, is MAC aware of and responsive to exporter needs, does MAC have the right programs in place to meet identified needs, and do MAC services maximize efficiency and effectiveness. MAC received a "small extent" because the evaluations to date have focused on improving processes, not on the impact MAC has on identifying and removing trade barriers.
Evidence: 1. GAO-05-53 Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0553.pdf.. 2. GAO-04-301T page 23, 25 Link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04301t.pdf 3. 2003 Customer Satisfaction Survey Findings 4. FY2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill 5. RFQ for MAC's Customer Survey
|Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability||Score||47%|