The purpose of this paper is to focus on the question of what accounts for appropriate performance reports in the context of the new public management (NPM), and how they can deliver the information they need to politicians.
The study is based on a survey of members of cantonal and federal members of governments and parliaments, where performance contracting has been introduced; 454 questionnaires answered.
The results of the study reflect the distinct roles of the parliament in the performance contracting process. On the content side of the reports, they are expected to contain general as well as detailed information. Outcome rather than output indicators are demanded, especially by parliamentarians. There is, also, a need for “early warning indicators” of long‐term threats, and extra‐ordinary incidents. Formally, a homogeneous reporting format across government should be realized. Reports are expected to be well visualized and to contain the most relevant indicators. Changes and deviations should be commented on. Reports should be printed, additional electronic publication would be accepted; external revision is considered to be necessary. Regarding time‐related aspects, the assumption is confirmed that political decision makers have very little time to deal with the reports. Reporting has to be as up to date as possible. Parliaments demand a one‐ or two‐year rhythm; governments require annual or even semi‐annual reports.
Up to now, public management research has addressed the issue of appropriate performance reporting insufficiently, despite the fact that the central concept of outcomes is a political concept. The research question answered in this paper – what the essential components of appropriate performance reports under NPM conditions, and how should they be characterized in order to give politicians the performance information they need, provides some public management research in a Swiss context.
Brun, M.E. and Philipp Siegel, J. (2006), "What does appropriate performance reporting for political decision makers require? Empirical evidence from Switzerland", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 480-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410400610682505Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited