Fiscal Year 1999 Annual Program Performance Report: FLRA Strategic Plan Goal 3
To maintain FLRA's internal systems and processes to support a continually improving, highly effective and efficient organization with the flexibility to meet program needs.
Summary: In order to accomplish the FLRA Strategic Plan Goal 3, FLRA established three performance goals in its FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan. The FLRA met two of these performance goals and substantially met the other goal.
The three performance goals focused on: 1) implementing an integrated agency-wide case tracking system; 2) maintaining an updated information infrastructure; and 3) improving electronic access to FLRA decisions, guidance and research tools. In addition to the three performance goals, the paramount focus for all information technology activities during FY 1999 was to ensure that all agency hardware and software was Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant.
A significant amount of progress was made in support of the FLRA commitment to maintain sound internal systems and processes -- primarily through information technology improvements. Specifically, FLRA: 1) implemented a Y2K remediation plan to ensure that all agency systems were Y2K compliant on January 1, 2000; 2) installed new computers to bring all agency hardware to the Pentium level; 3) replaced outdated agency software including a conversion of its network operating system and word processing and electronic mail programs; 4) designed and implemented several data bases including the design of an agency-wide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services database system for educational and training assistance activities; and 5) expanded its web site to include better access to agency decisions, forms, guidance and policies.
The FLRA relies heavily on its technology to perform a number of critical functions. These include: 1) producing work products including case decisions; 2) providing electronic research and electronic communications capabilities to agency staff; 3) monitoring, measuring and reporting on the status of workload; 4) projecting workload trends through the use of computer models; and 5) measuring performance. The FLRA commitment and investment in technology will continue to be reflected in performance goals for FY 2000 and FY 2001.
The following describes the specific results related to each of the three FY 1999 performance goals.
|Performance Goal: Implement an integrated agency-wide case tracking system, including the incorporation of a critical workload measurement system, to assist in determining resource allocation and in measuring agency performance.||Actual Performance: Substantially Met the Goal -- as described below in Performance Analysis.|
Performance Analysis: This goal was substantially met. The goal was developed and implemented by the Information Resources Management (IRM) Division staff, including support provided by outside contractors.
In order to accomplish this performance goal, FLRA developed an action plan designed to: 1) complete Y2K renovations of all case tracking systems; 2) develop and implement new Authority component case tracking systems; 3) perform an additional level of maintenance on OGC and FSIP case tracking systems; 4) develop an agency-wide ADR services database system for educational and training assistance activities; and 5) develop a plan for further integration and data sharing among all component case tracking systems. These tasks constituted the largest IRM efforts during FY 1999.
At the end of FY 1999, FLRA completed three of the five tasks -- specifically, the Y2K renovations of all case tracking systems; additional level of maintenance on OGC and FSIP case tracking systems; and a plan for further integration and data sharing among all component case tracking systems.
The other two tasks (Authority case tracking and ADR services) were substantially completed by the end of FY 1999. The fourth task, designing and implementing revised Authority component case tracking systems, was substantially completed. Two major systems, for the Authority and Office of Administrative Law Judges, were designed and fully implemented. Two small systems for the Office of Solicitor were designed and are in testing. The FLRA completed the design of the fifth task, an agency-wide ADR services database system for educational and training assistance activities and customer evaluations, but this database was not fully implemented. The remaining elements of these two tasks will be completed in early FY 2000.
Several factors contributed to the delayed completion of the two Office of Solicitor systems and the completed design, but delayed implementation, of the larger ADR services database system. First, all priority efforts were focused on the completion of Y2K remediation activities in all database systems. Next, the need to integrate unanticipated enhancements in the Authority component systems and the ADR services system required significant time and staff resources. The Authority systems included a significant system enhancement to accommodate revised negotiability regulations issued in April 1999. The revision was needed to permit the immediate collection of new data and to facilitate an analysis of the regulation's effectiveness during the first year of operation. An entire supplement to collect and retrieve customer evaluations was added to the original ADR system design, requiring further development time and staff resources.
FLRA performance goals for FY 2000 and FY 2001 will continue to focus on maintaining and further refining the agency case tracking system to ensure accurate case tracking and reporting and critical workload measurements of agency program activities.
|Performance Goal: Upgrade the network operating system, ensuring 95 percent of agency hardware is at the Pentium level capacity, using a life cycle management approach.||Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in Performance Analysis.|
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed and implemented by the IRM Division staff, with assistance and advice from the FLRA Technology Committees which consist of management and union officials representing FLRA users.
In order to accomplish this goal, FLRA took a number of actions during FY 1999. First, the Y2K remediation plan for commercial off-the-shelf technology resources was implemented including the replacement of out-of-date computers. Second, FLRA upgraded and standardized its network operating system with Windows NT 4.0. The agency also upgraded its word processing software to Corel WordPerfect 8, and its electronic mail software to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook 98. The agency replaced the ISDN data network with dedicated leased lines and facilitated the use of portable computers to function as both desktop and portable systems for regional staff. By the end of FY 1999, the hardware and software that constituted the FLRA information infrastructure was Y2K compliant.
As a result of actions taken in FY 1999, 100% of the agency hardware was at Pentium level capacity. This is a significant accomplishment and improvement over the baseline year of FY 1997 when only 50% of the agency hardware was at Pentium level capacity. In accomplishing this goal, the agency was able to ensure that all FLRA hardware was Y2K compliant as noted above.
The FLRA established performance goals for FY 2000 to ensure FLRA systems were Y2K compliant by January 1, 2000 (successfully completed), and to upgrade the agency infrastructure in accordance with the Year One segment of the agency life cycle management plan. The performance goal for FY 2001 implements the Year Two segment of the agency life cycle management plan.
|Performance Goal: Improve fully integrated agency-wide communications and research systems, and provide any necessary training.||Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in Performance Analysis.|
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed and implemented by the IRM Division staff, with assistance and advice from the FLRA Technology Committees.
During FY 1999, FLRA developed and successfully implemented an action plan that focused on improving internal and external research tools, FLRA publications, and library services. FLRA developed and integrated a new bound volume publication format and procedures for all FLRA decisions published on or after December 1998. The new format produces FLRA case decisions in twin column format that will ultimately result in a more cost effective production of FLRA bound volumes and other research publications. The FLRA also completed a review of agency research and library services to improve staff research tools.
The most significant accomplishments involved expanding and improving the FLRA web site. The FLRA home page provides access to Authority decisions, OGC policy guidance, FSIP decisions, FLRA Bulletins and other information. During FY 1999, three major improvements were made to the home page: 1) better access to recent FLRA decisions with enriched navigation and viewing functions; 2) forms that support new negotiability regulations; and 3) increased availability of OGC guidance issuances including the OGC ULP Manual.
The performance goals for FY 2000 and FY 2001 focus on testing and implementing web site based research, including searchable decisions, to ensure ease of use for the Federal labor relations community and FLRA staff.