Performance Improvement and Evidence Building at USDA
USDA works continuously to achieve its mission by setting goals and utilizing evidence, measurement, and learning to improve results of programs and the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations in service to the American public.
USDA Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan articulates the long-term goals and objectives USDA hopes to accomplish and what actions the agency will take to realize those goals. The plan provides the context for decisions about performance goals, priorities, and budget planning, and the framework for the detail provided in agency annual plans and reports.
- 2022-2026 USDA Strategic Plan (PDF, 9.6 MB)
- Past Strategic Plans
Annual Performance Plans and Reports
The Annual Performance Plan and Report details USDA's progress and plans for progress toward achieving the strategic goals and objectives described in the USDA strategic plan, including plans on agency priority goals.
- Past Annual Performance Plans and Reports
- 2023 Annual Performance Plan (PDF, 920 KB)
- 2021 Annual Performance Report (PDF, 945 KB)
- Annual Performance Report, Fiscal Year 2020 (PDF, 6.9 MB)
- Summary of Performance and Financial Information, Fiscal Year 2018 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
- USDA FY 2019 Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan (PDF, 2.1 MB)
- USDA Federal Program Inventory - Fiscal Year 2013 (PDF, 242 KB)
Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking (Evidence Act)
As required by the Evidence-Based Policy-making Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-435), USDA is committed to developing evidence-based policy and evaluation plans.
- 2022-2026 Learning Agenda (PDF, 2.3 MB)
- 2022-2026 Capacity Assessment (PDF, 2.3 MB)
- USDA Evaluation Policy
- FY 2024 Annual Evaluation Plan (PDF, 451 KB)
- Past Evidence Act Deliverables
- 2023 Evaluation Plan (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Agency Financial Report
The Agency Financial Report (AFR) is a report on the agency end-of-fiscal-year financial position that includes, but is not limited to, financial statements, notes to the financial statements, and a report of the independent auditors. The AFR also includes a performance summary. Past AFRs can be found here: www.usda.gov/ocfo/plans-reports/agency-financial-reports.
- FY 2022 Agency Financial Report (PDF, 6.5 MB)
Audit of USDA's Annual Financial Statements (PDF, 10 MB)
Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990 requires, among other things, the annual preparation and audit of organization wide financial statements of the 24 major executive departments and agencies.
The Office of Inspector General is an independent office within USDA that performs audits, evaluations, and investigations of USDA and its contractors, to promote economy and efficiency, and to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse.
Since 1990, GAO has identified and reported on government programs and operations at "high risk." GAO has made hundreds of recommendations to executive branch agencies and the Congress aimed at improving these programs. GAO provides its high-risk reports at the start of each new Congress to help in setting the congressional oversight agenda. USDA currently has one program on the list that was added in 2007 - "Transforming Federal Oversight of Food Safety."
In January 2003, GAO issued its Performance and Accountability Series: Major Management Challenges and Program Risks. This series, first issued in 1999 and updated in 2001, consisted of separate reports on cabinet departments, major independent agencies and the U.S. Postal Service. The reports in that series also identified any areas that had been designated as high-risk within those agencies. USDA has addressed the management challenges and program risks GAO identified in 2003.