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Program Assessment


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Defense Commissary Agency

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) seeks to promote quality of life for members of the uniformed services (primarily military), their dependents, and retirees by selling grocery items at approximately a 30 percent discount. This service is an integral component of the military compensation package.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The commissary provides a valued benefit to eligible patrons. Market surveys indicate that from FY2001 to FY2006, DeCA increased the savings of the typical customer from 30.4 t to 32 percent as worldwide sales increased 7 percent to over $5.4 billion. Other surveys indicate that a vast majority of active duty service members (90 percent) have used the local commissary in the past 12 months.
  • DeCA's goal is to sustain the commissary benefit without increasing appropriated costs. In the past several years, DeCA has streamlined operations and achieved efficiencies, enabling it to lower the cost to operate the commissary benefit. Using FY2000 constant dollars, the cost to operate the commissary system was $978 million in FY2006 compared to $1.01 billion in FY2000.
  • While DeCA has long-term performance measures and targets, many of these targets reflect modest incremental improvements rather than ambitious goals to address efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Focusing on maintaining long-term internal customer satisfaction and reducing cost to taxpayer by planning to restart DeCA's competitive sourcing program beginning in FY 2009.
  • Updating baselines and performance measures for the 2007 Balanced Scorecard. Baselines for performance measures added in 2006 are being reviewed for validity and should provide auditable trends.
  • Continuing to use Government Accountability Office and Department of Defense Inspector General evaluations to improve commissary effectiveness and to identify improvement opportunities.

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