Latest Public Sector News

05.04.16

Departmental business plans ‘failing to properly measure performance’ – IfG

Government performance analysis methods are not actually being used to measure outcomes and are difficult for the public to understand, the Institute for Government (IfG) has said in a new report.

Since 2010, every department has been required to produce a business plan to explain the outputs they want to produce, including ‘impact indicators’ to help the public measure their performance.

However, almost half of departments said that they didn’t use the business plan as their sole measure of performance and two said they didn’t use it at all.

It also said that only around 40% of indicators came with data that would have a clear impact on the outcome.

It was also difficult for the data to fulfil its set goal of helping the public hold departments accountable because it was hard to access via the Number 10 Transparency website, and that there was “huge variation” in the quality, accessibility and up-to-dateness of data made available.

The report says: “The availability and accessibility of data makes it difficult for the public to use the indicators as intended.

“No army of armchair auditors appears to have enlisted. And the plans also appear to have lost any political link with the centre of government.”

In February, the departmental business plans were criticised for blocking the public from holding the government to account.

(Image c. Lauren Hurley from PA Images)

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