This section provides an overview of the 1999 performance goals and indicators, presented by BLS strategic goal. It should be noted that for strategic goal one, the baseline year is 1997. For strategic goal two, there is no baseline data because these are new activities. However, the work for these projects is on schedule.
This 1999 Performance Plan provides, for each BLS strategic goal, the following key elements:
Department Cross-Cutting Goal: Prepared Workforce: Enhance Opportunities for Americas Workforce
Agency Strategic Goals: Measure the economy through producing and disseminating timely, accurate, and relevant information in our areas of expertise. Improve accuracy, efficiency, and relevancy of our economic measures and program outputs through increased application of state-of-the-art statistical techniques, economic concepts, technology, and management processes.
Supporting 1999 Means and Strategies
Sustained Efforts in 1999:
Significant New or Enhanced Efforts in 1999:
Since goal one is very different from goal two, the performance goals and measures reflect this difference. For objectives within goal one, the production of BLS data, the performance goals are the dissemination of high quality program deliverables according to the announced schedule. The BLS reports timeliness and reliability results annually. Verification of the timeliness measures occurs through the comparison of the planned and actual release date of products by publications staff who are independent of program staff.
The established procedure for validation of reliability measures is through program evaluations. In many cases, these measures are the direct output of the system that BLS uses to run and manage the programs. The program evaluation is undertaken by parties internal or external to the BLS. Program evaluations consist of internal reviews conducted by BLS program and research staff, views from customers based on program-specific and BLS-wide customer feedback measurements and meetings, assessments conducted by advisory groups, and evaluations required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Regarding the latter, OMB Statistical Policy Directive Number 3 requires performance evaluations for BLS principal economic indicators. These evaluations are to assure that the data series meet specific accuracy, release, and accountability standards. Evaluations are conducted every three years for each of the eight indicators.
For goal two, the improvement goal, the performance goals are quite different. These performance goals are significant milestones expected to be completed towards the accomplishment of an improvement objective in the given year. Over time BLS will validate these indicators by showing how they relate to desired outcomes such as modernizing BLS data or improving accuracy.
Information technology linkages
Information technology is used extensively in all BLS work. In the first strategic goal, the production of the statistical programs, information technology is used in all programs to produce the statistical outputs. The second strategic goal provides the framework for information technology infrastructure issues as well as the identification of the CPI system as a major investment.
Since the BLS Strategic Plan is based on the achievement of individual program and support area plans, no new information activities are required for the achievement and measurement of the strategic goals.
The BLS must be able to hire and retain highly qualified staff. Coupled with this requirement is the need to develop and train staff to meet the challenges of reengineered work processes and rapidly changing technology. Except for the budget initiatives listed above, the strategic goals and objectives can be accomplished within existing resources.
A broad recruitment and workforce development program is a cornerstone of the BLS strategic human resource initiative through the year 2002. Recruitment activities will be integrated fully with current and projected BLS vacancies in economist, statistician, and computer specialist areas. The recruitment program is designed to ensure that the BLS continually achieves a more diversified workforce. College recruitment and relations efforts are continued by:
Attending job fairs and conducting interviews at colleges and universities across the nation, targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and schools with predominant Hispanic enrollments;
As a result of advances in technology, the need for a large clerical and technical staff to accomplish the work of the BLS has greatly diminished over time. Over the next several years, the number of clerical and technical positions will continue to decrease as a result of technological advances. The BLS will continue to utilize attrition, reassignment, and retraining efforts for this workforce and will continue to address this issue through the year 2000.
The BLS serves as a statistical resource to the DOL, producing data on the workforce, workplace, and wages. This data is utilized by other DOL agencies to fulfill their individual missions. The BLS also has a cooperative relationship with States, ETA, ESA, and OSHA in gathering and producing data that is of mutual interest.
As a Federal statistical agency, the BLS is a member of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, which sponsored an initiative to compile inventories of current and potential collaborative activities. The BLS also is engaged in ongoing relationships with the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Finally, the BLS works with foreign statistical agencies and international statistical organizations in efforts to enhance comparability of definitions and methodologies.
Last Modified Date: January 6, 2004