FISCAL YEAR 2000 ANNUAL PROGRAM PERFORMANCE REPORT - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Summary of Performance
Pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) developed a multi-year Strategic Plan that identifies goals, objectives and performance indicators for Fiscal Years (FY)1997-2002. The Strategic Plan enables FLRA to carry out responsibilities identified in the FLRA Mission Statement: "to exercise leadership under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute to promote stable, constructive labor-management relations that contribute to a more effective Government." An overview of the FLRA and its program offices appears as Appendix A.
The FLRA Strategic Plan includes four broad goals. They are: 1) providing high quality services that timely resolve disputes; 2) using alternative methods of dispute resolution and avoidance to reduce the costs of conflict; 3) maintaining internal systems that support programs needs -- notably information technology systems; and 4) developing FLRA staff to ensure an effective organization with the flexibility to meet program needs.
Consistent with the FLRA Strategic Plan, the FLRA developed its FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan which identifies 28 performance goals to implement the four Strategic Plan goals. During FY 2000, FLRA fully met or exceeded 21 of the 28 performance goals. FLRA substantially met the remaining seven goals. Adjustments have been made to achieve these seven performance goals in FY 2001.
Significant accomplishments were made by FLRA in implementing its FY 2000 performance goals. FLRA reduced the number of overage cases, the overall age of the pending inventory and case processing times. For example, the Office of the General Counsel reduced its inventory of representation cases to an all-time low. The Authority reduced the average age of pending Authority cases by more than 50%. Finally, the Federal Service Impasses Panel exceeded its goal to issue decisions and orders by 21 days, thus improving processing times to resolve impasses. At the same time these reductions occurred, FLRA continued to maintain high standards of quality.
FLRA continued its efforts to integrate the use of alternative dispute resolution approaches at all stages of case processing -- notably related to negotiability appeals and unfair labor practice cases. FLRA negotiability regulations, which were revised in FY 1999, include conferences designed to narrow and clarify issues; procedures to resolve all aspects of a dispute, where appropriate; and clarification of the responsibilities of each party. FLRA pre-complaint ULP regulations facilitate dispute resolution and attempt to simplify, clarify and improve processing of ULP charges. In addition, FLRA post-complaint ULP regulations formalize the Settlement Judge Program and provide for a pre-hearing conference program. During FY 2000, FLRA staff provided training, facilitation and intervention services -- conducting over 1700 sessions for over 12,000 participants.
In addition, FLRA made significant progress in its commitment to maintain sound internal systems and processes by ensuring FLRA systems were Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant, upgrading computer hardware and software, designing and converting agency databases and expanding the FLRA web site by providing the ability to search FLRA case decisions electronically. Finally, FLRA continued its commitment to maintaining a highly skilled work force through employee development, leadership development and a performance management system.
Consistent with GPRA, FLRA has designed a system that links its multi-year Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan goals with budget formulation and resource allocation, performance management and management and operational decisions. This approach provides maximum individual and organizational responsibility and accountability, and ultimately ensures annual performance goals are met.
Each year, Annual Performance Plan goals are established by FLRA components and offices, consistent with the multi-year Strategic Plan, to identify performance goals and initiatives for the coming year. At the same time, the annual budget submission is developed to identify the necessary resource levels to accomplish the Annual Performance Plan goals. Once the agency budget is approved by Congress, an annual operating plan is developed in order to align agency resources with the Annual Performance Plan goals. The operating plan is regularly monitored and adjustments are made during the course of the year to realign resources to meet program needs. In addition, performance goals are regularly monitored to ensure performance levels are reached.
The FLRA performance management plan is also designed to link organizational goals and performance with individual goals and performance. Consistent with this plan, FLRA components and offices develop the Annual Performance Plan goals, as noted above, which clearly define organizational performance expectations. After the organizational goals are established, individual work plans are developed for each FLRA employee specifying the individual performance expectations to support the organizational goals. Each office conducts monthly and quarterly reviews of organizational progress. During the year, at least two employee progress reviews are conducted. At the end of the year, individual and organizational performance is formally evaluated and annual employee performance appraisals are conducted. This sequence provides a system that clearly defines, monitors and links organizational and individual goals and actual performance.
The FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan goals did not include any external cross-cutting activities. As an independent agency that resolves disputes arising between Federal agencies and unions representing Federal employees, FLRA normally would not jointly develop or implement program goals with other Federal entities, and did not do so in FY 2000.
Because the three FLRA components -- the Authority, OGC and FSIP -- need to maintain their independence to ensure separation of responsibilities related to investigation, prosecution and adjudication, there are normally few opportunities to have internal cross-cutting activities related to the case processing activities in Goal 1. However, FLRA did undertake a number of internal cross-cutting activities in Goals 2, 3 and 4 in order to coordinate and maximize the use of its resources. These included: 1) the agency-wide collaboration and alternative dispute resolution program through training, facilitation, education and intervention; 2) internal training and development of FLRA staff; 3) leadership development; and 4) integration of agency systems -- notably in database management and electronic research.
Data Verification and Credibility
Most of the data -- notably related to Goals 1 and 2 -- resides on the FLRA integrated case-tracking system. In FY 2000, more than 6500 new cases were filed with the agency and each case was entered and progress was tracked throughout the life of the case. Monthly reviews were conducted by each office to ensure accuracy of the data and to monitor Annual Performance Plan goals. At the end of the year, this data was used by the offices to measure performance related to each FY 2000 goal to assess, as examples, the age of the inventory and case processing times. The data used to measure FY 2000 performance was verified and certified as accurate by each of the responsible program office directors.
During the year, FLRA conducted evaluations of the following programs: 1) evaluation of the FY 1999 Annual Program Performance Report; 2) audit of the FY 1999 financial statement; 3) independent verification for Year 2000 system compliance; and 4) computer security. Information and recommendations from each of these reviews is being used to deve