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strategy for food safety

strategy for food safety oversight identified by experts align with the six desirable characteristics. Page 23 GAO-17-74 Food Safety

Table 5: GAO’s Desirable Characteristics for National Strategies and the Related Key Elements of a National Strategy for Food Safety Oversight Identified by Experts GAO’s desirable characteristic for a national strategy Purpose, scope, and methodology Problem definition and risk assessment Goals, subordinate objectives, activities, and performance measures Description of characteristic Addresses why the strategy was produced, the scope of its coverage, and the process by which it was developed. Addresses the particular national problems and threats the strategy is directed towards. Addresses what the strategy is trying to achieve and the steps to achieve those results, as well as the priorities, milestones, and performance measures to gauge results. Examples of what the characteristic might encompass • Statement of broad or narrow purpose, as appropriate. • Comparison with other national strategies. • Major functions, mission areas, or activities covered by the strategy. • Principles or theories that guided the strategy’s development. • Impetus for strategy (e.g., statutory requirement or event). • Process to produce strategy (e.g., interagency task force; state, local, or private input). • Definition of key terms. • Discussion or definition of problems, their causes, and operating environment. • Risk assessment, including an analysis of threats and vulnerabilities. • Quality of data available (e.g., constraints, deficiencies, and “unknowns”). • Overall results desired. • Hierarchy of strategic goals and subordinate objectives. • Specific activities to achieve results. • Priorities, milestones, and outcome-related performance measures. • Specific performance measures. • Process for monitoring and reporting on progress. • Limitations on progress indicators. Related key elements identified by experts (element) • A mission statement and goals for the food safety oversight system. (Purpose) • Definition of problems in the food safety oversight system. (Purpose) • Milestones that specify time frames, baselines, and metrics to monitor progress. (Monitoring) • Sufficient flexibility to incorporate changes identified through monitoring and evaluation of progress. (Monitoring) • Short-term and long-term actions. (Actions) Page 24 GAO-17-74 Food Safety

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