The public sector must deliver the best value for taxpayers, achieve higher levels of service,become more accountable for their performance, customer focused and responsive to stakeholder needs.All this is being demanded in a climate of shrinking budgets and resources. The range of services provided by the public sector is large and diverse. Management and improvement of performance across the wide range of services necessitates a structured and strategic approach.
Positive momentum is all about achieving goals of the organisation and the community – it is about good management and delivery of services. However it depends on much more than systems, processes, plans and indicators. Unless it is implemented well, the whole idea can actually lead to decreasing performance, with pertinacious and dysfunctional behaviour. A system of performance measurement promises improved documentation of the contributions of public agencies, and can serve as a quality improvement tool by drawing attention to practices shown to promote the achievement of desired outcomes and by identifying areas needing improvement.
If poor performance is not addressed it becomes a disease within the organisation. Wherever it spreads, it lowers standards. The results may take months or years to recognise. Staying ahead of the problem is vital. Performance measurement is a vital component in the drive to improve public services. Local authorities cannot begin to improve their services without a clear picture of their overall performance.