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Reconciling the Research: Municipal Finance Officers on the Role of Performance Data in the Budget Process

Author: JANET M. KELLY AND WILLIAM C. RIVERBARK
Published in PAQ, Vol. 26 No. 2

Research on the use of performance measurement points to contradictory
conclusions. Most municipalities self-report that they collect
performance data on a regular basis but actually use the information
only sparingly during the budget construction process. To explore what
may be happening or not happening, the authors began with a case
study of a medium-sized municipality in the southeast, then expanded
to a survey of similar-sized cities in the same region. They conclude
that most municipalities are indeed collecting performance data but are
simply adding them to the budget document after the deliberation
process is over. The role of the budget office in performance-based
reform is discussed along with the organizational changes needed to
embrace performance measurement during budget construction

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