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About SEA Reporting – SEA Reporting

The primary purpose of a government is to provide a wide variety of services that help maintain or improve the well-being of its citizens. For a government organization, financial statements provide important financial performance information about fiscal and operational accountability, but the financial statements do not provide all of the information needed to determine the degree to which the organization was successful in providing services that help maintain or improve the well-being of citizens. Knowing the extent to which a government consumed resources in providing services, relative to the perceived value of those services, while important, is not sufficient to evaluate operational and managerial success. To understand how well a government performed, information is needed about what the government achieved and how efficiently it provided services with the resources used.

Through the years and currently, many organizations, both nationally and internationally, have been actively involved in the development and evolution of SEA performance measurement, performance budgeting, performance management, and external reporting of SEA performance information.

Government performance management is a process that integrates strategic and program planning, budgeting, operational management, program evaluation, and both internal and external reporting of SEA performance measures in a way that links the results directly to what the organization intends to accomplish. A key component of any government performance management system is developing timely and accurate data that can be used for designing programs, managing services, setting policies, budgeting, and improving results. SEA reporting is both the internal and the external communication of the results of an organization's delivery of programs and services.

There are a number of models of government performance management cycles; however, the more common processes seen within these models include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Program/Activity Planning
  • Selecting Measures of Results
  • Budgeting for Results
  • Management of Work Processes
  • Evaluating Results
  • Internal and External Reporting of Results
  • The focus of the GASB's efforts is only on one part of the process of the government performance management cycle noted above—the external reporting of SEA performance information. SEA reporting is an integral part of the GASB's conceptual framework. The GASB has worked for more than two decades to encourage experimentation and provide guidance for SEA reporting.

    An external report of SEA performance information assists governments to better communicate to the public and legislative bodies (a) what the government is accomplishing, (b) the extent to which goals and objectives are being achieved, (c) how efficiently and effectively the government is providing services, and (d) the degree to which the services provided by the government are helping maintain or improve the well-being of its citizens.

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