The state of Ontario’s municipal performance reports: A critical analysis
Focus on results and accountability in public performance management is now firmly entrenched. Governments around the world, at all levels, have invested significant time and resources into measuring and reporting performance, with very mixed results. In 2000, Ontario became the first state or province in North America to mandate a municipal performance measurement program for all municipalities. One measure of the system’s effectiveness is the documentation produced to show citizens how their government is doing – in this case, an annual performance report. Although the legislation is clear in terms of measurements and some reporting standards, there are clear differences in the overall quality of the annual reports produced by each of the 445 municipalities. This article will focus on the reports as the primary communication tool between the municipalities and citizens. The primary question that frames this research is the current quality of municipal performance reports in Ontario.