Fast Facts

Managers at federal agencies can provide important insights into how well the government is operating. For more than 20 years, GAO has surveyed managers on issues related to the federal government's management and performance.

In 2020, GAO asked nearly 4,000 managers for their views on several topics, including maintaining federal operations and teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic. This product provides the results from GAO's 2020 survey.

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Highlights

This product is a supplement to Evidence-Based Policymaking: Survey Data Identify Opportunities to Strengthen Capacity across Federal Agencies (GAO-21-536).

Between July and December 2020, GAO surveyed nearly 4,000 federal managers on various organizational performance and management issues. The survey asked managers for their perspectives on their agencies' capacities to develop and use different types of data and information in decision-making activities, such as when allocating resources. In addition, the survey sought views on agency efforts to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a 56 percent response rate, the results are generalizable to the 24 major agencies included in the survey, and across the federal government.

This product makes available the results from GAO's 2020 survey—at a government-wide level and for each agency. It also provides information about how and why GAO conducted the survey, and identifies other GAO products that analyzed and reported these survey results.

For more information, contact Alissa H. Czyz at 202-512-6806 or czyza@gao.gov.

Supplemental Material

Background

Since 1997, we have periodically surveyed federal managers on various organizational performance and management issues. This product presents results from GAO’s survey of nearly 4000 managers from July to December 2020.

Our web-based 2020 survey questionnaire asked for managers’ perspectives on:

1. Their agencies’ capacities to develop and use different types of data and information:
    a. Performance information
    b. Program evaluations
    c. Data, research, and analyses.
2. Financial information reported on USASpending.gov;
3. Efforts to maintain operations during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; and
4. Telework during the pandemic.

With a weighted response rate of 56 percent, the results made available below are generalizable to the 24 major agencies covered by the survey, and across the federal government.

Our scope and methodology appendix provides additional details about our efforts to develop the questionnaire, select our sample, administer the survey, and analyze results.

The related products list identifies GAO products that analyzed and reported results from our 2020 survey, as well as our prior six surveys.

Survey Results

Note: Throughout 2021, GAO plans to issue several products analyzing and reporting results from different sections of the survey. We will update this page to make those results available as we issue additional products. Currently, the links below provide results from Sections 2 (performance information), 3 (program evaluations), and 4 (data, research, and analysis) from the 2020 survey.

Government-wide

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Agency for International Development
Environmental Protection Agency
General Services Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Science Foundation
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Personnel Management
Small Business Administration
Social Security Administration

The government-wide and agency level results are available to download as a comma-separate values (.csv) file.

We conducted the work for the 2020 survey and its related results from October 2019 to July 2021 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

Contact

For more information, contact Alissa H. Czyz at (202) 512-6806 or czyza@gao.gov.

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Copyright

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.

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