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Case Histories

Government auditors can keep moving the entities they serve to new levels of performance management by changing their audit practices as systems mature.  These case histories describe how innovative audit organizations have responded to evolving management systems by adapting their practices, resulting in higher quality performance information and more advanced government performance management.  The cases examine audit offices with years of performance measurement related experience, presenting the chronology of their different approaches towards developing a new service model and, ultimately, laying the foundation for a new audit discipline.  These are clear demonstrations of “increased value added” of audit work.

City of Austin, Texas:The City Auditor used performance audit findings to convince City Council to encourage management to improve performance measurement. Then, the auditor’s entity-wide audits and partnership with the City Manager led to an integrated performance management system.  Management took prime responsibility for data reliability, including certification by Corporate Internal Audit, resulting in higher quality performance information useful to the City Council, city management, and the City Auditor. … Read more

State of Florida: Spurred by legislation, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) has played different roles throughout the evolution of state performance management systems, ranging from technical and advisory roles, to encouraging the legislature to seek improvements, to building on improved performance data to conduct higher value program evaluations. … Read more

City of Phoenix, Arizona: Phoenix already had a norm of using measurement for service improvement when the City Auditor Department began working with service departments, internal and external customers, and citizens.  The auditor helped Phoenix achieve a results-oriented focus on citizen priorities and report reliable performance information accessible to citizens on-line in user-friendly graphic form, and in summary booklets in two languages.  … Read Case from 2004 Guide (PDF)

City of Portland, Oregon: With years of performance auditing experience, the City Auditor’s Office sought to improve accountability through public reporting. By engaging city agencies and surveying citizens and businesses, the City Auditor has reported relevant, reliable performance data for over a decade. Building on the credibility of these and other practices, the auditor proposed and the City Council resolved that Portland establish a managing for results system, which the auditor has been helping management implement. … Read more

In addition to these case studies, the training courses provided as part of this project, particularly the course “A New Service Model: Auditor Roles in Government Performance Measurement,” should help auditors determine their best opportunities for adapting new practices to use in the government entities they serve.