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SEA Reporting Project – Surveys

In the mid-1990s the GASB and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), along with other organizations, were actively encouraging experimentation with the development, use, and reporting of SEA performance measures by state and local governments. However, there was little information available about how successful these efforts were on the extent to which, or how, SEA performance measures were being used and reported by various types of state and local governmental organizations.

In the fall of 1996, the GASB staff, working in conjunction with NAPA and the GASBís SEA Task Force, developed the first of two questionnaires to collect information about the development, use, and reporting of SEA performance measures by state and local governments. This survey was sent to about 5,000 state and local governmental organizations and 900 responses were received.

The survey sought information about whether those responding had developed SEA performance measures, whether they were using them for decision-making purposes, what types of SEA performance measures they were using, what aspects of management these SEA performance measures were being used for, to whom they were being reported, whether SEA performance measures were being verified, specific programs for which SEA performance measures were being used, whether the use of SEA performance measures was required, and whether entities were planning to continue or begin using them in the future.

As part of the continuing GASB research on the use and effect of using SEA performance measures by state and local governments, an extensive mail survey was sent to state budget offices, state agency staff, and city and county budget and department staff across the country.

The summary of survey results is provided for five areas of the use and effect of using performance measures: To what extent are SEA performance measures being used? In what ways are SEA performance measures being used? How effective are the SEA performance measures that are being used? How are SEA performance measures being maintained and communicated? And how are SEA performance measures being implemented?

The study was conducted by Julia E. Melkers and Katherine G. Willoughby of Georgia State University, with a grant from the Sloan Foundation. This summary report of the findings of the survey, prepared by Brian James, provides an overview of the survey findings.


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