The annual reports on municipal services use graphs, summary tables, and explanatory information to present the performance and cost results for each service area under study. The results of each service area by municipality are displayed with a standard, two-page format. A sample of this two-page format (here) has been included for the service of residential refuse collection. The following information is contained in each report:

  1. Performance Measures. Three types of performance measures are used and reported: workload, efficiency, and effectiveness. A jurisdiction's performance is compared to the performance average, noting that the average is comprised of services with numerous variations and should be viewed with caution. The measures used in this report do not assess total service performance. They gauge certain service dimensions and should be approached with an understanding of the service being provided.
  2. Municipal Profile. This includes a limited number of characteristics of each jurisdiction, such as population density and unemployment rate, which may affect service performance and cost. Some of the general characteristics, such as population, appear in the city profiles for all of the service areas. Others, such as the crime rate for serious offenses, appear in only selected profiles.
  3. Full Cost Profile. A cost accounting model is used to calculate full or total cost of providing each service area under study. Although the cost data were collected in detail, using a collection instrument with more than seventy specific line items, the reporting format aggregates the detailed cost data into three general categories for the purpose of presentation: personal services for the direct expenses of salaries, wages, and related fringe benefits; operating costs that include direct operating expenses and indirect cost allocations; and capital costs that represent usage charges for equipment and facilities.
  4. Service Profile. This identifies important dimensions of service organization and method of delivery.
  5. Explanatory Information. This segment of the report describes how the service is delivered and identifies conditions or dimensions that affect performance and cost data of the service.

Three categories of performance measures are used in the project and are outlined as follows:

  • Measures of Workload: These measures address the level of service being provided or provide an assessment of need for a service. An example of a workload measure is tons of residential refuse collected.
  • Measures of Efficiency: These measures may include cost per unit of service provided, cost per unit of output, or the units of service provided per full time equivalent position. An example of an efficiency measure is cost per ton of residential refuse collected.
  • Measures of Effectiveness: These measures refer to the quality of service provided, citizen perceptions of quality, or the extent a service meets the need for which it was created. An example of an effectiveness measure is complaints per 1,000 collection points of residential refuse