Problem Identification:
The City cannot manage what it does not measure.

Recommended Action:
Expand the scope and significance of the City’s Program Performance Measurement Project by developing new and more expansive performance measures, increasing departments’ reporting requirements, and more effectively utilizing and publicizing the information collected through these efforts to promote public accountability.

Cost Savings, Organizational, Revenue Enhancement, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the immediate financial impact cannot be estimated, the regular collection and review of performance and service data can produce innumerable opportunities for improving City operations by equipping managers with the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the allocation of resources.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Can be accomplished with existing resources.

Barriers to Implementation:
The collection and analysis of performance and service data must become an increased priority in every City department and agency. Future information technology efforts must be specifically geared towards enhancing tracking and reporting capabilities.

Projected Implementation:
60 – 90 days

Next Steps:
Utilizing the list of proposed performance indicators found in each section of this report, the Mayor’s Office and other central administration offices must evaluate the adequacy of current data tracking and analysis efforts, identify key indicators that best measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department’s operations, and begin to regularly report (at least on a monthly basis) on performance.

By focusing attention on the services that City departments provide and how well those services are provided, a comprehensive performance measurement program can provide policymakers, managers, and the public with the information necessary to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of City services. The information yielded through these efforts can be used to justify requests for increased funding as well as to ensure the City’s ability to sustain or expand services with the same or decreasing amounts of resources. Equally important, the program can increase the City’s accountability by providing the public with enhanced information about City services.

The City’s current Program Performance Measurement Project, constituted in FY96, has taken some important initial steps to develop service objectives and indicators to measure departments’ progress towards meeting service goals. However, in too many instances the indicators currently used by the participating departments fail to address the most important service areas for which they are responsible. For example, the Fire Department’s measures do not include information related to the numbers of fires and emergency medical service runs to which the Department responds. Additionally, no information is provided about the specific response times for these critical activities.

An expanded Program Performance Measurement Project could dovetail nicely with the O’Malley Administration’s CitiStat initiative. The Greater Baltimore Committee/Presidents’ Roundtable project teams felt so strongly about the need to enhance efforts to measure performance that each of the sections of this report contain a recommendation that identify specific performance indicators that the City should strongly consider monitoring in the future.