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Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2009
Management's Discussion and Analysis

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Performance Data Verification and Validation

In accordance with GPRA requirements, the USPTO is committed to making certain the performance information it reports is complete, accurate, and consistent. The USPTO developed a strategy to validate and verify the quality, reliability, and credibility of USPTO performance results and has taken the following actions:

ACCOUNTABILITY — Responsibility for providing performance data lies with managers of USPTO programs who are held accountable for making certain that procedures are in place to ensure the accuracy of data and the performance measurement sources are complete and reliable.

QUALITY CONTROL — Automated systems and databases that collect, track, and store performance indicators are monitored and maintained by USPTO program managers, with systems support provided by the OCIO. Each system, such as Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM) or TRAM, incorporates internal program edits to control the accuracy of supporting data. The edits, typically, evaluate data for reasonableness, consistency, and accuracy. Crosschecks between other internal automated systems also provide assurances of data reasonableness and consistency. In addition to internal monitoring of each system, experts outside of the business units routinely monitor the data-collection methodology. The OCFO is responsible for monitoring the Agency’s performance, providing direction and support on data collection methodology and analysis, ensuring that data quality checks are in place, and reporting performance management data.

DATA ACCURACY — The USPTO conducts verification and validation of performance measures periodically to ensure quality, reliability, and credibility. At the beginning of each fiscal year, and at various points throughout the reporting or measurement period, sampling techniques and sample counts are reviewed and adjusted to ensure data are statistically reliable for making inferences about the population as a whole. Data analyses are also conducted to assist the business units in interpreting program data, such as the identification of statistically significant trends and underlying factors that may be impacting a specific performance indicator. For examination quality measures, the review programs themselves are assessed in terms of reviewer variability, data entry errors, and various potential biases.

Following is specific information, including data verification and validation, for each performance measure:

Performance Goal 1: Optimize Patent Quality and Timeliness

Performance Goal 2: Optimize Trademark Quality and Timeliness

Performance Goal 3: Improve Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Domestically and Abroad

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