The Government Accountability Office detailed in a recent report its findings that the Department of State should work to more proficiently assess the results of efforts to improve financial and program data tracking and reporting.

“Over the last several years, State has implemented most of its plan to improve data tracking and reporting. But the monitoring and evaluation part of the plan wasn’t well developed,” wrote GAO. “As a result, State may not know whether the plan is addressing concerns.”

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According to GAO, State has implemented most of its Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR) plan, which will improve the tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data. Developed in 2014, the FADR plan works to modify State’s “existing agency-wide data systems to improve financial and related programmatic data for foreign assistance.”

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) remains the most important element still to be addressed for the FADR plan, as the component is “not well developed,” GAO said.  The watchdog agency said the M&E component doesn’t identify how State plans to evaluate and use the monitoring data, nor does it provide information “on timeframes associated with the performance targets for the identified indicators.”

GAO recommended that the Director of the Office of Foreign Assistance at the agency improve the monitoring and evaluation of the FADR effort, and State concurred with this recommendation.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.