Improving Performance Reporting for Local Govt

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Honored as a Bronze Certificate of Excellence Award Recipient

Alexandria, VA – Recognizing performance reporting excellence, the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) has honored the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) with a national Bronze Certificate of Excellence in Service Efforts and Accomplishments (SEA) Award. A distinguished panel of government financial managers chose to honor the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority for their exceptional Transportation MAP (Metropolitan Atlanta Performance) Report. This is the first year that the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority has received an SEA award. The GRTA is now one of ten governmental entities nationwide to receive the Bronze Certificate of Excellence award.

AGA established this award program in conjunction with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Foundation granted AGA funds to launch the Certificate of Excellence in Service Efforts and Accomplishments (SEA) Reporting Program. The program offers in-depth evaluation of SEA reports (also called performance reports), recommendations for improvements and recognition of excellent reports with a Certificate of Excellence. The SEA Program encourages issuing regular high-quality service efforts and accomplishments reports and helps state and local governments effectively communicate performance to the public. The GOLD award is given to those entities that fully apply 13 of 16 criteria, based on the Governmental Accounting Standard Board’s (GASB) 16 suggested criteria, and receive no scores of zero from more than one reviewer.

“This award for excellence should alert the tax-paying public, Congress, public interest groups and other financial management professionals that state and local government agencies are strenuously working to make the government more accountable,” stated AGA Executive Director, Relmond P. Van Daniker, DBA, CPA. “Not only are they working hard, but they are also achieving these sought after goals,” he said.

The number of state and local governments issuing such performance reports is increasing substantially following the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s release, in April 2003, of Reporting Performance Information: Suggested Criteria for Effective Communication. This book, which has come to be known as the Green Book, is a special report setting forth 16 non-authoritative suggested criteria and 11 good practices) to guide the preparation of such reports.

Van Daniker said that governments issuing performance reports would like these reports to be not only complete and comprehensive, but also interesting, informative, and inviting to read. They would appreciate knowing if the report is fulfilling its purpose of effectively informing readers of the government’s performance and if it is recognized as an “outstanding document.”

The purpose of the reviews is to evaluate how well the government or other organization informs the public about its performance. The review is not intended to evaluate the quality of the government or its performance. Rather, the focus is entirely on the report’s usefulness to the public and other decision-makers who have a stake in the effectiveness of the government’s services and programs.

AGA is the premier Association in advancing government accountability. We support the careers and professional development of government financial professionals working in federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector and academia. Founded in 1950, AGA has a long history as a thought leader for the government accountability profession. Through education, research, publications, certification and conferences, AGA promotes transparency and accountability in government.