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.
2022 – 2026 USDA Strategic Plan (PDF, 9.6 MB)
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 Learning Agenda (PDF, 2.3 MB)
A set of questions and the planned activities to facilitate learning towards meeting USDA’s goal and objectives.
2022 – 2026 Capacity Assessment (PDF, 2.3 MB)
A Departmental inventory of evidence building activities and assessment of the quality, methods, effectiveness, and independence of the statistics, evaluation, research, and analysis efforts of the agency.
2023 Evaluation Plan (PDF, 2.2 MB)
The USDA Annual Evaluation Plan includes the “significant” evaluations and the work plans related to the agency learning agenda and progress towards agency’s strategic plan.
2023 Annual Performance Plan (PDF, 4.3 MB)
Details USDA's plans for progress toward achieving the strategic goals and objectives described in the USDA strategic plan, including plans on agency priority goals.
2021 Annual Performance Report (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Details USDA's progress toward achieving the strategic goals and objectives described in the USDA strategic plan and annual performance plan, including progress on agency priority goals.
The policy defines USDA employees, partners, and stakeholders a common framework and approach to designing, conducting, and using evaluations.
Agency Financial Report, Fiscal Year 2021 (PDF, 5.8 MB)
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.
Annual Performance Report, Fiscal Year 2021 (PDF, 6.9 MB)
Details USDA's progress toward achieving the strategic goals and objectives described in the agency's strategic plan and annual performance plan, including progress on agency priority goals.
Provides the most relevant performance and financial information in a brief, user-friendly format. This summary is designed to increase the accountability of agency heads and program managers. It will make financial and performance information more transparent and accessible to Congress, the public, and other key constituencies.
USDA FY 2019 Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Describes the annual performance targets which USDA intends to work toward within the fiscal year and the funding included in the President's Budget that is necessary to accomplish the Department's goals and objectives as defined in the current Strategic Plan.
USDA Federal Program Inventory - Fiscal Year 2013 (PDF, 242 KB)
The Federal Program Inventory describes USDA programs and indicates which of the Department's Strategic Goals and Objectives each program supports. The inventory indentifies programs by mission area and USDA agency and consists of a total of 59 programs.
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.