Scaffale: Legislator Uses of Public Performance Reports Findings From a Five-Year Study

James C. McDavid, Irene Huse - SAGE, 2012 - Articolo - Inglese

A key assumption in efforts to implement and improve cross-government public reporting systems is that legislators will make use of the performance information to enhance accountability and improve program and policy effectiveness. This five-year study is an assessment of expectations and actual uses of annual performance reports by elected decision-makers in British Columbia, Canada. Our findings from three anonymous surveys indicate that while the legislators had high initial expectations, actual usage—measured in two follow-up surveys—showed substantial drops from expectations. Our findings are consistent with a growing body of evidence that there may be a paradox at the core of the public performance reporting movement: public reporting of targeted performance measures, although it may improve symbolic accountability, undermines the usefulness of the reported performance information for performance management. These findings have implications for jurisdictions using whole of government performance measurement and reporting systems for these dual purposes.

James C. McDavid, Irene Huse

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