Year of Publication
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration
Performance metrics and municipal stat programs are becoming increasingly popular to measure performance of city departments in order to improve services and save taxpayers’ dollars. The intent of this research is to give decision makers a better understanding to what extent municipal stat programs make an impact on the departments being measured, using an analysis of Metro Louisville’s LouieStat as evidence. Understanding the effect of PerfomanceStat tools will provide insight for the Louisville Administration and for other cities considering using a similar tool.
The literature finds performance management tools to be more widely used as a management tool to influence decisions making, rather than as a budgetary tool to impact allocated budget dollars. However, even in the management context, the literature is inconclusive as to whether the tool affects services. Recent literature highlights a few anecdotal examples where performance measurements tools positively impacted the budgetary process.
The analysis presented in this capstone looked at one of the metrics, unscheduled overtime dollars, because data was consistent and available across all departments. Holding all else equal, LouieStat has had an average statistically significant impact on unscheduled overtime dollars of -$12,710 per agency per month. In aggregate, this equals around a $2.3 million decrease for unscheduled overtime for those agencies that have implemented LouieStat at the time of this study. Going forward this equals around $2.7 million dollar decrease per year. The impact of LouieStat was immediate on this metric.
One of the uses of LouieStat was to examine entrenched programs and evaluate if resources could be reallocated to more effective programs. The research found the number of months of LouieStat data the administration could consider did have a marginal statistically significant negative impact on budgetary allocation. In other words, it does appear LouieStat is having a impact on the efforts to “budget for outcomes.”
The analysis presented looked at one of the metrics, unscheduled overtime dollars, because data was consistent and available across all departments. In order to understand the complete impact of LouieStat, this research recommends further research needs to be conducted on the correlation between the reduction in overtime and the services of each department. The savings may be overestimated if the reductions are correlated with a decrease in services.
In conclusion, applying internal focus and external pressure to track, manage, and set goals though LouieStat has resulted in improved performance for one metric and marginal effort to budget for outcomes. However, more efforts during the allocation process will be needed to increase the impact of LouieStat on the budget. All else equal, PerfomanceStat programs are a worthwhile endeavor for other cities to implement.
Giles, Jamie, "Do Municipal Stat Programs Improve Services and Reallocate Resources? Evidence from LouieStat" (2014). MPA/MPP/MPFM Capstone Projects. 4.