About The Government Performance Project


A project of Government Executive magazine and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Administration of Syracuse University, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Government Performance Project

Since 1996, under the auspices of The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University has rated the management performance of local and state governments and selected federal agencies in the United States. The Government Performance Project (GPP) is administered by the Maxwell School's Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute.

Initially, the project linked the Maxwell School with two magazines in the field of government reporting: Governing, which focuses on states and localities, and Government Executive, which focuses on the federal government. In addition to their own reporting, the magazines publish information developed by the Maxwell School. Under the terms of a new grant in 1999, Maxwell and Governing will continue to assess state and local government; The George Washington University will work with Government Executive.

The GPP evaluates the effectiveness of management systems and examines the role of leadership in government entities. In doing so, the project studies and evaluates performance in five categories, and determines how well they are integrated. Finally, the project aims to communicate its findings to government agencies as well as to the public.

The Government Performance Project examines government management in five areas:

* Financial Management focuses on budget allocation, forecasting, budget execution, accounting, financial reporting, debt management, and investment.

* Human Resources Management focuses on workforce planning, hiring, retention, reward and discipline, and training.

* Information Technology Management focuses on uses of IT systems in management: hardware and software performance, integration with other management systems, training, cost, and reporting capability.

* Capital Management focuses on long-term planning, initial construction or purchasing justification, capital and operating budget interaction, and maintenance.

* Managing for Results focuses on strategic planning, performance measurement, and the implementation of performance information.

Project Goals

The project aims to improve the understanding of government management at the city, county, state and federal levels, first by facilitating a better intellectual understanding of the dimensions of management in government, and second, by holding government entities publicly accountable for the quality of management in their jurisdictions.

Toward these ends, the project has the following specific goals:

* To inform the public about factors that contribute to effective management in the public sector.

* To enhance citizen understanding of management issues in governments at all levels.

* To create a clearinghouse of information related to government management.

* To facilitate a learning process and dialogue among governments and agencies.

* To recognize improvement and progress in the management of government agencies at all levels.

Project Status

Pilot Year

During the pilot year, the GPP conducted studies in two cities, two counties, four states, and four federal agencies. Pilots were chosen through a process that emphasized diversity in function, size, and location, among the federal agencies. During this phase, the Maxwell School developed a methodology to be used and improved upon throughout the remainder of the project. The pilot year ended in the fall of 1997.

Year One

The project studied and rated government performance of the 50 states and 15 federal agencies. The results were published in the February 1999 issues of Governing and Government Executive.

Year Two

In 1999, the GPP assessed the management capacity of the top 35 U.S. cities by revenue and five federal agencies. The results were released in January and March 2000.

Year Three

In Year Three, Government Executive, and the Department of Public Administration of The George Washington University will rate another set of federal agencies and the Maxwell School and Governing will reevaluate the 50 states.

The Maxwell School uses the data collected to conduct scholarly analysis and to communicate both the methodology and the evaluation in more traditional scholarly outlets. It will also continue to build an information and learning center at the Campbell Institute.

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Government Performance Project

Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Syracuse University

306 Eggers Hall

Syracuse, NY 13244-1090

(315) 443-1282 / Fax:(315) 443-9734

E-mail: wastacy@maxwell.syr.edu

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