By Mike Grebosz, Assistant City Manager, City of DeLand
In our current climate, trust and transparency have increasingly become items of concern voiced by many members of the public. One avenue the City of DeLand has used in recent years to create transparency and reinforce a trusting relationship with our residents, businesses, and visitors is through the use of performance measures and performance reporting.
DeLand has had a history of supporting performance measurement over the past two decades. In recent years the city has voluntarily participated in the ICMA Performance Certificate Program. According to ICMA, “ICMA awards certificates each year to recognize programs that instill a culture of performance management, pursue comparative analysis and data-informed decision-making, and promote transparency.”
In order to obtain the certificate ICMA conducts a formal review process of how the city collects, publishes, and supports performance management. DeLand is one of 63 jurisdictions around the country that have received this recognition.
How the process works in DeLand is that prior to the start of a fiscal year on an annual basis, all city-wide performance measures are reviewed with the leadership to make sure the data collected is relevant and useful. On a quarterly basis those measures are reported, reviewed and sent to the elected officials to keep them up to date. The measures are also published annually in our budget document. The types of measures the city utilizes are a mix of output, efficiency, quality and outcome measures.
We have found by providing performance reports to our elected officials and the public there is more transparency and trust in local government operations. The data also empowers staff with data to back up requests and/or show where more resources need to be directed.
Overall, having a performance program is a low cost, high impact effort that can increase efficiency and transparency in your organization. I also recommend that if your organization has a performance program, that your organization look into participating in ICMA’s Certificate program or some sort of benchmarking consortium. Participating in a consortium or certification program provides benchmarking data and best practice processes that will add value to your performance program and your organization .