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Where are the Performance Metrics in the Recovery Act

About a month and a half ago, OMB released the Federal reporting requirements for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It’s taken me a little while to look through the requirements, and I had read that the focus was on job creation, but I was still a little surprised at the lack of Federal interest in other performance metrics. It pretty much boiled down to “# of jobs created” and a fairly standard set of financial data points entailing how the funds were spent. The Federal government has always been a laggard in requiring its own agencies to adopt strong performance management practices, but it didn’t seem out of the question that in doling out hundreds of billions of dollars they would put together a few other metrics to make jurisdictions more accountable. At the very least it would have gotten towns, cities, and counties in the habit of reporting performance data, and possibly start some of them down the road of a more substantial performance management program. Lets hope that future rounds of government reporting requirements contain a more diverse set of measures, or at least let jurisdictions name their own. It’s one step toward a more ingrained culture of government performance management.

This was originally published on my blog at http://measuresmatter.blogspot.com/.

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