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Program Evaluations: Past, Present & Future

Table Of Contents

Program evaluations to determine how well the Commission is reaching its desired outcomes are necessary to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of its work. Many program priority and resource allocation decisions hinge on the knowledge of program successes and failures. For the first three years of this plan, the Commission will continue to use methods and processes already in place to evaluate its progress in achieving the strategic goals and outcomes as well as the priorities for FY 2007 through FY 2012 outlined in this Strategic Plan.

Performance and Accountability Reports

The Commission has published annually since September 2004, a PAR that describes its progress in achieving annual performance measures. The most recent report is available on the Commission’s Web site, The Commission’s report for the fiscal year ending FY 2006 received the prestigious Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting from the AGA.

Budget Program Activity Code System

During FY 2006, as part of the Commission’s migration to a new financial management system, the mechanism that captured information regarding the distribution of labor was reengineered. The Management Accounting Structure Code system (MASC) was replaced by the new Budget Program Activity Code system (BPAC).

Like MASC, BPAC uses employee time and attendance data, which employees input bi-weekly using special codes that correspond to various activities and legal matters. However, unlike MASC, BPAC codes now tie directly to: 1) the Commission’s strategic planning structure, which includes the Commission’s strategic goals, outcome objectives, and business processes; and 2) legal matters active within the Division of Enforcement. With this new alignment of work measurement and active Enforcement matters, BPAC has the potential to serve as an evaluation tool by enabling managers to assess distribution of labor costs and realign resources as needed to contribute to the successful achievement of Commission priorities.

Government Accountability Office Reports

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) periodically conducts studies or investigations of Commission programs. In the recent past, the GAO has studied the Commission’s oversight of energy futures trading. GAO has also reviewed the Commission’s market surveillance program, enforcement actions against energy traders, market studies, and the Commission’s capacity to protect market users from fraud and manipulative practices related to the sales of energy futures contracts.

Office of the Inspector General

Finally, the Commission’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) evaluates the administration of the Agency, including audits of compliance with Federal laws, such as the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. The OIG also contracts with an outside private accounting firm to render an opinion on Agency financial statements.