Examples of Performance Measures
These performance measures were chosen as exemplary because they are meaningful in the context of the program and capture the most important aspects of a program’s mission and priorities. Most are drawn from PART assessments completed in 2002 and 2003. Some were developed for inclusion in agencies' performance budgets and will be included in future PART assessments.
For more information on these programs and their performance measures, please see the full PART assessment available on ExpectMore.gov.
|Animal and Plant Health Monitoring||
|The purpose of the USDA monitoring programs is to locate infestations before they become widespread. If infestations were to become widespread, there could be significant damage to plant and animal resources, with a potential effect on local and regional agriculture and related industry, as well as exports. Eradication and control (if possible) could become costly to the Federal government as well as State and local governments, producers and industry. Therefore this measure reflects the overall portion of the need that is addressed, and describes the effectiveness of the program. The measure also reflects the overall mission of USDA, which is to safeguard the nation’s productive resources.|
|Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program||OUTCOME
Percentage of rural telecommunications subscribers receiving new or improved service
|The purpose of this program is to improve and expand telecommunications in rural areas. The measure directly relates to this purpose. Once targets are established, this measure will indicate whether the program is effective. In addition, over time this measure will provide information on the portion of rural America benefiting from program loans. The measure supports the agency’s mission to support rural America. Performance is measured using a formula based on the number of subscribers supported by new loan funds divided by the total number of rural subscribers of active borrowers (both are based on data reported by borrowers). The data is verifiable since borrower records on the number of customers could be used to verify the numbers reported to USDA.|
|Food Safety and Inspection Service||OUTCOME
Reduction in prevalence of foodborne illness from meat, poultry, and egg products
|The purpose of the program is to ensure that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. The key indicator of program effectiveness is whether or not less people are getting sick as a result of foodborne illness from pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli. FSIS uses data collected and estimated by the CDC on the incidence of foodborne illness. Further analysis is used to understand the link between changes in the incidence of these illnesses and the control measures implemented by FSIS. This is the long-term outcome measure used; annual measures track the prevalence of pathogens (e.g., Salmonella) on food items at processing plants.|
|Forest Service: Forest Legacy||OUTCOME
Environmentally important acres of forest protected
|The purpose of the program is to protect forests from conversion to non-forest uses through the purchase of conservation easements or fee simple titles that maintain the working landscape. The key indicator of program effectiveness is the amount of priority forest lands at risk of conversion to non-forest uses that are maintained in contiguous forest. Acquisitions occur only in focused areas of private forest, known as Forest Legacy Areas, that are determined through natural resource analysis and public input to be the most important forest areas and the ones most threatened. Projects are selected annually through a national competition that best address priority criteria. Data are verifiable both locally and nationally through geospatially-based forest inventory data and through reviews of legal titles.|
|Forest Service: Forest Legacy||EFFICIENCY
Cost per acre of environmentally important forest protected
The efficiency measure provides unit costs based upon actual title
conveyance transactions and program obligations.
|Economic Development Administration (EDA)||OUTCOME
Jobs created or retained in distressed communities as a result of EDA investments.
|The purpose of the program is to create and retain jobs in economically-challenged communities. The key indicator of program effectiveness is number of jobs actually created and retained as a result of EDA investments. EDA uses data collected and estimated by grantees and discounts those data by 25 percent to account for outside factors, such as the state of the economy. The discount factor is based on a study that found that EDA dollars were responsible for 75 percent of the jobs created in EDA-funded projects. This is a long-term outcome measure used to measures jobs at three, six and nine year intervals.|
|Patent and Trademark Office||OUTPUT
Average Patent Pendency
|The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issues patents and registers trademarks. A primary measure of the processing time of patents is pendency. Patent pendency is the estimated time in months for a complete review of a patent application, from the filing date to issue or abandonment of the application. PTO collects the data used in this measure from their internal Patent Application Location Monitoring (PALM) System.|
|Patent and Trademark Office||EFFICIENCY
Cost per patent disposed
|A primary measure of the efficiency of processing patents is the cost per patent disposed. The measure is calculated by dividing total PTO expenses associated with the examination and processing of patents (including associated overhead and support expenses) by production units.|
|Patent and Trademark Office||OUTPUT
Average Trademark Pendency
|The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issues patents and registers trademarks. A primary measure of the processing time of trademarks is pendency. Trademark pendency the estimated time in months for a complete review of a trademark application, from the filing date to issue or abandonment of an application. PTO collects the data used in this measure from their internal Trademark Reporting and Monitoring (TRAM) System.|
|Patent and Trademark Office||EFFICIENCY
Cost per trademark registered
|A primary measure of the efficiency of processing trademarks is the cost per trademark disposed. This measure is calculated by dividing total PTO expenses associated with the examination and processing of trademarks (including associated overhead and support expenses) by outputs (office disposals).|
American Community Survey (ACS)
Cost per household
|The Census Bureau has developed the American Community Survey (ACS) to collect decennial census long-form data every year instead of every ten years. The Bureau developed the cost per household measure of the ACS as a key indicator of the efficiency of the data collection activities. The measure is calculated by dividing the field and overhead costs of conducting the specific mode of collection (mail, telephone, personal visit), by the number of households in the sample for a specific mode of collection. This is a new measure, as full implementation of the ACS is an FY 2005 budget initiative. The data for this measure will be collected from the Census Bureau's internal databases and accounting system.|
|Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)||OUTCOME
Percentage of program participants that enroll in college
The program's central purpose is to serve students at high-poverty
middle and high schools and prepare them for high school completion
and, ultimately, college enrollment. This measure captures the effectiveness
of six years of program services and is ultimately the critical measure
of the effectiveness of GEAR UP funding. Increasing college entrance
rates for low-income students is a key strategic goal for the Department
of Education. (ED).
The targets for this college completion measure also emphasize another ED goal: closing the gap in college enrollment between low-income students and their more advantaged peers. GEAR UP's targets are aggressively set to bridge that gap among program participants over the next several years. Data for this measure is provided by grantees, and is verified by program audits and ongoing independently contracted evaluation efforts.
Percentage of Troops-to-Teachers who remain in teaching for three or more years after placement in a teaching position in a high-need school
|The Troops-to-Teachers program recruits, prepares and places retired military personnel as teachers in elementary and secondary schools in "high-need" school districts. One of the Department’s highest priorities is to improve teacher quality across the country, especially in school districts serving a large proportion of students from low-income families. This measure is a useful indicator of the program's effectiveness in its two key outcomes: placement and persistence. Program information is collected from participating State and regional offices which are required by statute to report on retention rates of their program completers.|
|21st Century Community Learning Centers||OUTCOME
Percentage of regular program participants whose achievement test scores improved from below grade level to at or above grade level.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program supports before-
and after-school programs that provide academic and enrichment activities
in high-poverty, low-performing schools. At the local level, the program
is often used as part of a strategy to improve the academic performance
of schools that are not meeting their No Child Left Behind goals.
However, a preliminary evaluation of the program indicated that the
academic component was often inadequate. As a result, the Department
of Education increased technical assistance and sponsored research
to help identify and implement effective after-school strategies for
improving academic achievement. This performance measure helps provide
an indicator of whether the program is meeting its most fundamental
objective, and helps keep the program focused on students most in
need of extra help.
Data are derived from an extensive State reporting database. Because No Child Left Behind requires that States administer annual tests in language arts and math in grades 3-8, the test scores needed for this performance measure are readily available. The data are validated by program evaluations and by comparisons to other sources of student testing data.
|Pell Grants/Student Aid Administration||OUTCOME
1. The gap between completion rates for Pell Grant recipients and the general student population will decrease each year
2. At least 75 percent of Pell Grant funds will go to students below 150 percent of the poverty level
3. Reduce Pell Grant overawards
The Pell Grant program provides grant aid to needy undergraduate students
to help them afford college. Pell acts as the foundation of need-based
student aid, and roughly one third of all undergraduates receive a
The three measures capture different components of program performance. The completion rate measure captures the degree Pell Grants increase college access and retention by making school more affordable. The second measure captures the degree to which Pell funding is targeted to the poorest students with the most financial need. Finally, the third measure examines the Department of Education's ability to minimize erroneous overawards and underawards to students. Recommendations that came out of the PART process aim to improve the Department of Education's (ED's) performance on all these measures.
Note that a separate Student Aid Administration PART was done to assess the overall management of ED's student aid programs. The management of ED's student aid programs -- which program grants, direct and guaranteed loans, and work study aid to students -- is very interconnected, and similar issues cut across all of these programs. As such, analysis of student aid management issues was centralized.
|Distributed Energy Resources (R&D)||OUTCOME
Number of technologies developed with a 25% increase in energy efficiency, with NOx emissions less than .15 lbs per MWh and equivalent or 10% reduction in cost to comparable technologies.
|The Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Program develops and provides utilities and consumers with a greater array of energy efficient technology choices for the on-site generation of electricity and use of thermal energy which have improved generation efficiencies and reduced emissions. This program contributes to the Department’s goals of increasing energy efficiency and electricity reliability. Both of these measures track progress towards the long term goal that, by 2008, the DER Program will complete development and testing of a portfolio of distributed generation and thermally activated technologies that show an average 25 percent increase in efficiency (compared to 2000 baseline) and/or NOx emissions less than 0.15 lbs/MWh. These measures are verified through validation tests with standardized metering equipment.|
|Geothermal Technology Program||OUTCOME
- Cost of “flash power” from geothermal resources (cents per kWh)
- Cost of “binary power” from geothermal resources (cents per kWh)
- Cost of drilling geothermal wells based on program estimates ($/ft)
|The Geothermal program focuses on increasing the economical electricity generating production capacity of geothermal systems. The three components of this activity involve (1) finding resources, (2) creating new techniques for improving geothermal reservoirs, and (3) developing advanced technology in drilling and energy conversion (the two major cost elements of a geothermal facility). These measures focus on lowering the cost of drilling and improving the generating efficiency. Reducing costs helps increase domestic use and contributes to DOE’s goals of increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. These measures are verified through a combination of expert modeling and actual observed performance.|
|Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Program||OUTCOME
Energy density of hydrogen storage system using solid state storage technologies, in weight percent
|The Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Program researches, develops, and validates fuel cell and hydrogen production, delivery, and storage technologies for transportation and stationary applications. This measure focuses on improvements in technologies needed for storage of hydrogen. This measure is verified through observed performance of prototype materials and/or systems. This measure, along with other measures, will support a 2015 decision by industry to commercialize fuel-cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure that will facilitate the long term transition to a hydrogen economy.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||EFFICIENCY
Program benefit-cost ratio excluding non-energy benefits (ratio of value of energy saved to program cost)
|The Weatherization program increases the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income Americans, thereby reducing their energy costs, while safeguarding their health and safety. DOE works directly with states and local governments, which contract with local governmental or non-profit agencies to deliver weatherization services. One of these measures tracks the number of homes actually weatherized (which is the principal measure of the program), while the other measure tracks the federal expenditure per home weatherized. These measures are verified through reports provided by the states.|
|Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)||EFFICIENCY
Total dollars collected per $1 of expenditures
The purpose of this program is to aid states in establishing paternity,
locating non-custodial parents, obtaining child and spousal support
and assuring that such assistance is available to all children for
whom it is requested. The efficiency measure for this program is the
ratio of total child support dollars collected per $1 of total administrative
expenditures. This is one of the five major performance goals that
OCSE has used since 1984 as a basis for awarding incentives and assigning
penalties to states.
OCSE collects annual child support performance data from the states and audits the data each year for completeness, accuracy, and reliability. The authorizing statute also specifies a multi-year timetable for penalizing states who do not correct data reliability and performance problems over time. Performance and data reliability have been improving as a result of the fiscal incentives.
The percentage of children with substantiated reports of maltreatment that have a repeated report within six months
|The purpose of this program is to help States provide care for children who are under the jurisdiction of the administering State agency and need temporary placement outside their homes, in a foster family home or an institution. HHS provides funds to States to assist with: the costs of foster care maintenance for eligible children; administrative costs to manage the program; and training for staff, for foster parents and for certain private agency staff. This measure shows the system's relative success at preventing child abuse by highlighting when it fails to do so. The data comes from HHS’ data system-- Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, and is verifiable and reliable.|
Number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States
|The purpose of 317 Immunization program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to prevent disease, disability and death in children and increasingly adults through vaccination. A key indicator of program effectiveness is whether or not less people are getting vaccine-preventable diseases. The measure is the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States as measured by cases of polio, rubella, measles, congenital rubella, mumps and tetanus with a specific target and baseline for each disease. In addition to this long-term outcome measure, there are three annual measures used that capture the percentage of young children that receive recommended vaccines each year, the number of polio cases worldwide and the number of vaccine-preventable diseases.|
By 2010, develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine
|The purpose of the program is to support basic, preclinical, and clinical research on AIDS vaccines. NIH is designing and testing new vaccine candidates, building on the foundation of recent basic research findings on the structural components of HIV and studies on immune responses in small animals and nonhuman primates. Vaccine candidates are also being constructed based on isolates from many regions of the world, and several NIH sponsored research groups are exploring mixtures of viral components from different strains or groups of organisms. NIH will fund additional basic research to better understand what makes some individuals either resistant to infection when they are exposed to HIV or able to control the infection so that disease progression is slowed. This is the long-term outcome measure used; annual measures will track milestones.|
|Food and Drug Administration (FDA)||OUTCOME
Increase consumer understanding of diet-disease relationships, and in particular, the relationships between dietary fats and the risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
|One of the responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to identify food-related health hazards. The link between dietary fats and coronary heart disease is well established, and the FDA plans to take a more aggressive approach to educate consumers about this link over the coming years. FDA believes that if consumers are better informed about the link between diet and disease, they will make more healthy dietary choices. Performance will be measured through surveys. FDA will conduct some of the surveys, and will also use outside data sources when available. As this is a new outcome goal developed during the FY 2005 PART process, FDA’s first step will be to establish baseline measures on consumer understanding of diet-disease relationships.|
Reduce rate of deaths due to HIV infection
|The purpose of the Ryan White program is to ensure that the uninsured and underinsured living with HIV/AIDS in the United States have access to primary care, social support, and needed drug treatments to help them sustain daily activities. One of the key indicators of program effectiveness is whether or not people are living longer with the disease. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as uses CDC’s data on the incidence of HIV/AIDS to help guide the program. The actual long-term outcome goal that is directly linked to the mission of the program is “By 2010, reduce deaths due to HIV infection below 3.6 per 100,000 people.” Several process and output annual measures help to contribute to the success of this goal.|
|Domestic HIV AIDS||OUTCOME
Reduction in the number of new HIV infections in the U.S.
|The purpose of the domestic HIV program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to provide national leadership to prevent the acquisition and transmission of HIV infection through collaborations with community, state, national and other relevant partners. A key indicator of program effectiveness is whether or not less people are getting HIV. CDC will track progress initially based on the population <25 years of age until 2005, the first full year of national HIV incidence data. The number of people diagnosed with HIV under the age of 25 was tracked first because this population is more likely to have been recently infected than those over 25 years of age. This measure is the main long-term outcome measure used and there are three annual measures that include incidence, the proportion of people who know they are infected and the proportion of people who are linked to appropriate services.|
|Maternal and Child Health Block Grant||OUTCOME
Reduce rate of infant deaths
|The mission of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant is to improve the health of all mothers, children, and their families. The Block Grant serves as a safety net for these populations by ensuring core public health, social and early intervention services. For mothers, one of the primary focuses of the Block Grant is to reduce the rate of infant mortality across the country. HRSA’s long-term outcome goal to help measure progress toward achieving reductions in infant mortality rates is “By 2008, reduce infant deaths to 6.5 per 1,000 live births.” This goal is built upon annual measures for related health issues, including reducing the rate of low-birth weight babies.|
|Indian Health Service||OUTCOME
Decrease obesity rates for American Indian/Alaska Native children
|The mission of the Indian Health Service (IHS) is to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people to the highest level. This indicator is part of a comprehensive long-term effort to identify effective interventions to prevent and reduce obesity in the AI/AN population in order to address escalating obesity and diabetes rates. IHS is establishing obesity rates for the communities it serves by collecting pediatric height and weight data from a national survey and its patient information systems. IHS will then track the impact of interventions on the height and weight baseline in the communities and nationally.|
|Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)||EFFICIENCY
Maintain cost of enrolling a person in services
|PATH provides formula grants to states for services that will enable homeless persons with serious mental illnesses to be placed in appropriate housing and to receive formal mental health treatment and other resources to improve their mental health functioning. The key indicator of program effectiveness is the percentage of contacted homeless individuals who are enrolled in case management and, eventually, community mental health services. This measure assesses the efficiency with which states use their PATH formula grant allocation to successfully enroll homeless individuals in case management and mental health treatment services. PATH determines the average cost of enrolling a client by dividing the total appropriation by the number of individuals enrolled in case management/community mental health services.|
|Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry||OUTCOME
Increase in the percentage of hazardous waste sites where human health risks and disease have been mitigated
purpose of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
is to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances
through science, public health actions and health information. A key
indicator of program effectiveness is whether or not people’s
exposure to health risks from toxic substances at key sites have been
reduced or eliminated.
Depending on the toxic substance(s) and routes of exposure, the impact of interventions on human health can be measured in some instances through morbidity and mortality data, such as childhood cancer rates and birth defects. Biomarkers that signal the presence of toxic substances will be used in cases where reliable and affordable tests are available. In cases where no tests or data indicating the impact on human health are available, environmental monitoring may be used. Environmental monitoring could include levels of environmental exposure or documented changes in behavior that are directly linked to exposure. ATSDR will document a comparison between risks at a period after ATSDR's intervention to those at the time of the initial site assessment.
1. The number of chronically homeless individuals declines by up to 50 percent by FY 2008.
2. The percentage of formerly homeless individuals who remain housed in HUD permanent housing projects for at least 6 months will be 70 percent.
3. The percentage of homeless persons who have moved from HUD transitional housing into permanent housing will be 60 percent.
4. The employment rate of persons exiting HUD homeless assistance projects will be 10 percentage points greater than the employment rate of those entering.
The purpose of this program is to help homeless families and individuals achieve permanent housing and self-sufficiency. These performance measures are exemplary because they combine an outcome measure that is a direct representation of one of HUD’s strategic objectives with 3 measures that track success in the major strategies for achieving this goal: placement in permanent housing, retention of long-term residency in such housing, and increased employment. Execution of these measures has been strengthened by requiring grantees to commit these measures in funding applications and agreements. Data quality will be controlled through the grant oversight process.
|National Park Service (NPS): Facility Management||OUTCOME
Facilities Condition: Condition of priority NPS buildings as measured by the Facilities Condition Index (FCI).
The purpose of the program is to maintain facilities, roads and trails
so that Americans now and into the future can enjoy the National Park
System. This measure is based on an existing industry standard for
tracking facility conditions. FCI is the ratio of the cost of deferred
maintenance over the current replacement value for an asset. The lower
the ratio, the better the condition of the asset. Each category of
assets (e.g., buildings, roads, trails) will have different benchmarks
for what FCI level represents good, fair, or poor condition.
The measure is exemplary because it is easy to understand, reproducible, and can be applied to many types of assets at many levels of aggregation. It focuses on an important issue – the maintenance of park assets – and can be used over time to track changes in condition. For buildings and certain other asset types, results can be compared to existing benchmarks in the private sector.
|States Marshals Service - Fugitive Apprehension program||OUTCOME
Percent of total Federal fugitives apprehended or cleared
|The primary mission of the United States Marshals Service is to protect the Federal courts and ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. The fugitive apprehension program works to locate and apprehend fugitives as quickly and safely as possible in order to maintain the integrity of the judicial system and enhance public safety by ensuring that the public is not exposed to further risk of crime from these individuals. This measure includes: physical arrest, directed arrest, surrender, dismissal, arrest by other agency, or when a detainment order is lodged and the fugitive is taken into custody. Data for this measure is obtained from Warrant Information Network (WIN) and verified through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Information is accessible by all 94 districts and continuously updated.|
|Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Firearms Programs—Integrated Violence Reduction Strategy||OUTCOME
Percent of high-crime cities nationwide with a reduction in violent firearms crime
|The purpose of the program is to address violent firearms crime by using ATF’s statutory jurisdiction and expertise to remove violent offenders from communities around the country and prevent prohibited persons from possessing firearms. The key indicator of program effectiveness is whether or not violent firearms crimes are reduced in the cities with the highest crime levels per capita in which ATF has a presence. Further analysis is used to understand the link between changes in the incidence of violent crime and ATF measures taken utilizing their Integrated Violence Reduction Strategy Program. Data for this measure is obtained from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports database, and it is collected annually with a 2-year delay.|
|Dislocated Worker Assistance||OUTCOME
Retention in Employment: percentage of program participants who are employed in the first quarter after program exit who remained employed in both the second and third quarters after exit.
|The purpose of the program is to provide grants, mostly by formula, to States and localities for retraining and reemployment services for workers who have permanently lost their jobs. An important indicator of program effectiveness is whether participants are able to find a new job and stay employed. The measure is one of the Administration’s common performance measures for job training and employment programs, which the Department of Labor is implementing in 2004. It is similar to a current measure under the Workforce Investment Act and complements another of the Administration’s common measures—the percentage of participants who enter employment after exiting the program. States report to DOL quarterly and annually through a common reporting system, based on data from localities.|
|Adult Employment and Training Activities||OUTCOME
Earnings Increase: percentage change in earnings for program participants during two periods of time: (1) pre-enrollment to program exit; and (2) between the first and third quarters after exiting the program
|The purpose of the program is to provide grants by formula to States and localities for activities to increase adults’ employment and earnings. An important indicator of program effectiveness is whether participants are able to increase their earnings after exiting the program. The measure is one of the Administration’s common performance measures for job training and employment programs, which the Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing in 2004. A current program measure under the Workforce Investment Act is average earnings change in dollars. States report to DOL quarterly and annually through a common reporting system, based on data from localities.|
|U.S. Humanitarian Demining Program (HDP)||OUTPUT
Square meters of land cleared and restored to productive use in sponsored programs out of a total of 719,536,000 sq. meters in countries receiving U.S. assistance.
|The program works to reduce civilian casualties, create conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, reinforce political and economic stability, and encourage international cooperation and participation. Landmines affect almost every aspect of life in states recovering from conflict. They maim or kill innocent civilians, obstruct emergency assistance, hamper agricultural and economic development, and prevent refugees and displaced people from returning to their homes. Land cleared of landmines and thereby returned to productive use is a direct and final result of U.S.-sponsored demining programs.|
|Educational and Cultural Exchanges||OUTCOME
Percentage of exchange participants who increase or change their understanding of the host country immediately following their program experience.
|The purpose of this program is to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries. Cultural programs also underscore the respect that the United States holds for the achievements of other nation's cultures. Polling program participants to find out whether the exchange experience increased their understanding of the host country accurately reflects whether a key program and agency goal (to increase understanding) has been achieved.|
|Federal Highway Infrastructure||OUTCOME
Fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel (VMT)
|The program provides funding and technical assistance to states to construct, maintain, and operate highways. A key performance indicator of the program is the rate of highway fatalities, which is expressed as the number of fatalities per hundred million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). This is a long-term outcome measure that tracks the effectiveness of highway safety program infrastructure improvements. Motor vehicle traffic fatality data are obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA’s) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The FARS database is a census of roadway fatalities, based on police crash reports and other state data. VMT data are derived from the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS).|
|Federal Railroad Administration (FRA): Railroad Safety Program (RSP)||EFFICIENCY
By FY 2008, reduce the ratio of indirect spending on safety activities to 27% from 30% in FY 2003
|The RSP promulgates, administers, and enforces the Federal laws and regulations designed to promote safety on the Nation’s railroads. A 2003 snapshot reveals that 70% of spending goes toward direct safety activities, and 30% goes to indirect safety activities. This "efficiency goal" is to increase the proportion of direct spending. Greater efficiencies gained on the indirect side (through initiatives such as technology enhancement, competitive sourcing of functions, functional consolidation, and other types of initiatives), increase the percentage of funding to the areas that have a direct impact on the mission. Spending data for this measure is calculated based on actual obligations for each fiscal year, as are currently broken out by activity. As the agency moves to a cost accounting system, the activity breakout will become even more detailed and informative.|
Percent reduction in review time for registration of conventional pesticides
|This measure is a good example of a programmatic efficiency measure that properly assists the program in improving its administrative efficiency. The Registration program is a process-oriented program that puts out discrete products – pesticide registrations. A very important component of the process (especially to certain stakeholder groups) is the length of time it takes EPA to complete a registration, which sometimes can take multiple years. By establishing a measure to reduce the overall decision time that looks at the various steps in the process and takes into account the time frames for each step is a valuable method of improving the efficiency (and in turn potentially the cost effectiveness) of the program.|
Percent reduction in number of chronically acidic waterbodies in acid-sensitive regions.
|This new goal to reduce the number of acidic lakes in certain regions of the country is useful for the Acid Rain program because it directly measures the effectiveness of the program in terms of its mission (as stated by Congress) to "reduce the adverse effects of acid deposition through reductions in annual emissions of sulfur dioxide… and… nitrogen oxides." The program will use data on acid deposition and surface water chemistry collected through existing monitoring networks in acid-sensitive regions. Ecological modeling will project surface water chemistry status as a result of changes in emissions and deposition. Though these networks do not provide full coverage of all acid-sensitive regions, the results of the analysis will be adequately representative for the limited areas covered by this goal.|
Pounds of pollutants reduced (characterized as to risk and exposure)
|The purpose of the program is to assure compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws to protect human health and the environment. One indicator of program success is the reduction and removal of pollutants from the ecosystem. GAO has indicated in their report, that reducing discharges and emissions of pollutants is a low-end outcome measure.2 EPA can currently estimate the pounds of pollutants it has prevented from entering the ecosystem as a result of data collected on concluded enforcement cases. However, these numbers by themselves do not adequately address how protective of human health and the environment these reductions are because they are not further categorized as to the degree of risk posed by the pollutant, or the exposure to sensitive populations or ecosystems incurred by the pollutant. When this performance measure is further refined as to risk and exposure it will be a more robust measure.|
Pounds of pollutants reduced (in thousands) per FTE
|The efficiency measure is simply how many pounds of pollutants are reduced per EPA FTE. When this performance measure is further refined as to risk and exposure, and when it takes into account state FTE, it will be a more effective measure and the efficiency measure will be more meaningful.|
|Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)||OUTCOME
Average number per year of waterborne disease outbreaks attributable to swimming in, or other recreational contact with the oceans, rivers, lakes or streams.
|The CWSRF provides funds to states to establish state loan revolving funds that finance infrastructure improvements for public wastewater systems and other sources of water quality impairment. The performance measure reflects the Agency’s mission to protect public health and represents the highest level outcome measure in GAO’s Hierarchy of Indicators.3 The Agency target is to decrease the number of outbreaks over time. Current measurement methodology lacks validity because the Agency relies on voluntary reporting to CDC and underreporting is a concern. The program is developing an annual measure of wastewater treatment plant compliance with discharge standards to link treatment plant upgrades with improvement in water quality and further link water quality improvements to reductions in waterborne disease outbreaks.|
Cumulative reduction of releases of industrial hazardous chemicals to the environment and in industrial wastes in millions of pounds.
|The purpose of the program is to review new chemicals being introduced into commerce (manufactured or imported) to prevent possible harm to the public and environment. The program encourages the development of safer, or “green”, chemicals as substitutes for more dangerous ones. A key indicator of the program is reduction in the amount of hazardous chemicals and wastes that are released into the environment from the use of green chemistry technologies. Data are provided by industry of industry’s substitution in their processes of green chemicals in place of more hazardous ones.|
Costs per chemical (for EPA and industry)
|The purpose of the program is to review new chemicals being introduced into commerce (manufactured or imported) to prevent possible harm to the public and the environment. Applicants seeking approval for a new chemical provide EPA with data for EPA to assess the potential exposure to workers (dermal and inhalation), the public (drinking water, eating fish, and consumer products), and the environment (releases to air, water, and land). The efficiency measure aims to help EPA and industry find more efficient ways to assess the potential harm of chemicals before they are approved to enter the market.|
Percent cumulative reduction of chronic human health risk from environmental releases of industrial chemicals in commerce since 2001.
|The purpose of the program is to review and regulate chemical substances and mixtures that may harm human health or the environment. The program covers the 62,000 chemicals that were already in commerce when Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act, including testing, regulation, and reporting. The measure evaluates chronic human health effects, both cancer and non-cancer, such as respiratory, developmental, and neurological conditions. The program uses data submitted annually by industry of pounds of chemical released to the environment, incorporates toxicity scores for each chemical, and models the fate and potential exposed population for the releases. The result is a screening-level, risk-related perspective for relative comparisons of chemical releases. This enables the program to not only examine trends, but to also rank and prioritize chemicals based on their potential for human harm for purposes of strategic planning, risk-related targeting, and community-based environmental protection.|
Cost and time to establish acute exposure chemical guidelines value per chemical
|The purpose of the program is to review and regulate chemical substances and mixtures that may harm human health or the environment. The program covers the 62,000 chemicals that were already in commerce when Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act, including testing, regulation, and reporting. This efficiency measure supports EPA’s performance measure to develop acute exposure chemical guidelines (AEGLs), which inform of possible harm to humans from chemicals. AEGLs are important for homeland security response, recovery, and preparedness. AEGLs represent three tiers of health effects (discomfort, disability, and death) for five exposure durations (eight hours or less). The efficiency measure aims to help EPA find more efficient ways to assess the potential human harm of chemicals.|
Progress in characterizing the present climate of Mars and determining how it has evolved over time.
|NASA’s Mars Exploration program conducts scientific exploration of the planet Mars, focusing on the search for water and evidence of past or present life. A key indicator of program effectiveness is NASA’s progress in expanding scientific understanding of the planet’s evolutionary history and its present-day atmospheric, surface, and interior systems. Based on their knowledge of scientific knowledge accrued over a year, external scientific advisors evaluate NASA’s progress annually against this measure (using a green-yellow-red “stoplight” scale), which contributes to the agency’s long-term goal of achieving broad scientific understanding of Mars.|
Cumulative and annual percentage baseline cost overrun on spacecraft under development.
|NASA’s Mars Exploration program conducts scientific exploration of the planet Mars, focusing on the search for water and evidence of past or present life. A key indicator of program efficiency is the degree to which NASA avoids cost overruns on spacecraft under development, since overruns result in cuts or delays to future missions—hence reducing the overall amount of Mars science that can be performed—and/or increase costs to taxpayers. This efficiency measure assesses the degree to which, on average, Mars exploration missions in development will not exceed their baseline costs by more than 5 percent annually or 10 percent cumulatively.|
Percent of construction acquisition and upgrade projects with negative cost and schedule variances of less that 10% of the approved project plan.
|The purpose of the program is to construct, upgrade, maintain, and operate research facilities in a wide range of scientific and engineering fields, one of NSF’s core functions. A key indicator that facilities construction is going as planned is the variance of cost or schedule from the approved project plan. Performance measurement requires regular monitoring and reporting of project cost and schedule status, with assessment against planned progress across all projects within the program. The Facilities program has a 90% target associated with this measure, which allows for some variance across NSF programs due to unanticipated or external factors.|
Percent of operational facilities that keep scheduled operating time lost to less than 10%
|The purpose of the program is to construct, upgrade, maintain, and operate research facilities in a wide range of scientific and engineering fields, one of NSF’s core functions. A key indicator of the efficiency of facilities operations is the adherence to scheduled uptime or downtime, and this performance is readily monitored through day-to-day facility operations. If the measure had to do only with total downtime of facilities, it would not adequately address the needs of some facilities to change or modify instruments, etc, nor would it acknowledge the differences across the many types of facilities NSF funds and operates. Given the significance of the scheduled operating time for each facility, it is important to set this level in each case responsibly and meaningfully. The facilities program has a 90% target associated with this measure, which allows for some variance across NSF programs due to unanticipated or external factors.|
|Nanoscale Science and Engineering||OUTCOME
As qualitatively evaluated by external experts, the successful development of a knowledge base for systematic control of matter at the nanoscale
|The purpose of the program is to support fundamental knowledge creation across disciplinary principles, phenomena, and tools at the nanoscale, and to catalyze science and engineering research and education in emerging areas of nanoscale science and technology. As this research program has to do with long-term basic research in a relatively immature field of science, it is difficult to assess its intellectual results annually or through any quantitative measures. Instead, NSF relies on independent review of relevant experts to monitor whether the research program is appropriately structured and is on track toward the goal of providing an appropriate knowledge base.|
|Section 504 Certified Development Company guaranteed loan program||OUTCOME
Estimated Number of jobs created or retained
|The program has a statutory goal of creating and retaining small business jobs. While the measure continues to be refined through a joint effort with the Department of Labor to review job statistics and future evaluations, the measure is critical to determining if the program is achieving its statutory purpose.|
|Section 504 Certified Development Company guaranteed loan program||EFFICIENCY
Cost to originate each loan T
|he program has a statutory goal of creating and retaining small business jobs. Given increasing pressures on the agency’s administrative funding, SBA must continue to find opportunities for reducing the costs associated with making loans.|
|Disaster Loan Program||OUTCOME
Percent of businesses still operational 12 months after final Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) disbursement.
|The program provides subsidized direct loans to businesses and home owners to cover the uninsured recovery costs from disasters. The sustainability of businesses receiving Federal assistance is critical to measuring the success of the program.|
|Disaster Loan Program||EFFICIENCY
Percent of loans that receive initial disbursements within 5 days of loan closing.
|The program provides subsidized direct loans to businesses and home owners to cover the uninsured recovery costs from disasters. While controls are in place to ensure that funds are disbursed in installments to coincide with recovery work, expedient disbursements are necessary for businesses to become operational in the wake of a disaster and for homeowners to make necessary repairs to property.|
|Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) Aged||EFFICIENCY
SSI Aged Claims processed per work-year
|The purpose of the program is to provide monthly financial support to aged individuals with low income and assets. The key efficiency measure included in the PART examines how many applications for SSI by aged applicants are processed per work year. (A work-year is similar to a full time equivalent, or FTE.) The Social Security Administration sets annual and long-term targets for this measure. It reflects how much work is done per work-year funded. The program has accuracy measures, as well, to balance this efficiency measure. While this measure relates to outputs rather than outcomes, SSA is working to develop an outcome measure for this program.|