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ROLE 1: Audit Performance or PM Systems:

Practice 1b. Audit performance management systems: Audit or assess existing performance management systems or practices.

Austin, Texas, City Auditor [Profile]
The Office of the City Auditor (OCA) has been reviewing City departments’ performance measures as part of performance audits since 1985.  In 1994, 1996, and 1998, the Office of the City Auditor conducted entity-wide audits of the City of Austin’s existing performance measurement system, and in 2002 conducted a more limited scope high-level review of the system.  These audits helped spur successive improvements in department performance measures and citywide performance management, especially after the 1998 audit conducted as part of a partnership project with city management. By the time of the 2002 review, a citywide business planning process was in place, as was performance-based program budgeting, and a central database for tracking city performance measurement data, though some weaknesses were still found in 2002 and OCA presented 15 strategies to strengthen the system.

Because of improvements in department performance measurement, OCA has not conducted a citywide system review since 2002.  In general, management is now expected and required to provide performance information and be able to answer questions on the information and be accountable for its reliability.  The City’s budget office has strengthened controls on clarifying and enforcing measurement and reporting requirements and expectations of accuracy.

More information on OCA’s citywide audits and reviews of performance measurement systems from 1998–2002, including more details on the findings of each audit and the level of effort involved reviews [Example in 2004 Guide-PDF]