What the project has achieved:

  1. The project's methodology, consisting of service profiles, performance measures, cost accounting, and explanation of results, provides a comprehensive source of information to compare service delivery and cost between jurisdictions. The project's accounting model is especially effective in capturing the full cost of service delivery.
  2. The performance data have been used in numerous jurisdictions for service improvement, especially in the areas of residential refuse collection and household recycling.
  3. The project's success is directly related to consensus of service definitions and measurement statistics, involving numerous local government officials from the participating municipalities.

What we have learned:

  1. Local governments can produce accurate, reliable, and comparable performance and cost data, which can be used for service improvement.
  2. Specific service definitions are vital to performance measurement and benchmarking, including explanatory information.
  3. Data availability and data quality are very important to performance measurement.
  4. Auditing or verifying the accuracy of performance data is a necessary component of performance measurement and benchmarking.
  5. Performance measurement and cost accounting are time consuming. However, performance measures provide valuable information in the quest to provide quality services at reasonable cost.