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Evaluating financial performance in local government: maximizing the benchmarking value

Evaluating financial performance in local government: maximizing the benchmarking value One of the main problems in evaluating financial performance arises in carrying out comparisons between municipalities, as no account is taken of the impact of certain factors of the social and economic environment on the indicators in question. In this study, the concept of financial condition is applied, revealing the influence of such factors, and a methodology is proposed to minimize their effects on the results of the evaluation. The results of applying these to a sample of municipalities in Spain reveal that the model is useful for reinforcing the value of benchmarking between municipalities with similar characteristics.Points for practitioners The use of indicators for evaluating financial performance has advanced considerably in recent years. However, many criticisms have been made by public sector managers concerning the application of such indicators. One of these is that, in many cases, the values measured by different authorities are not comparable, as the services they provide differ significantly. If local authorities were grouped according to the social and economic factors influencing their provision of public services, the evaluations made would be much more effective, facilitating decision-making by supervisory bodies and by municipal managers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Administrative Sciences: An International Journal of Comparative Public Administration SAGE

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References (54)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0020-8523
eISSN
1461-7226
DOI
10.1177/0020852308099510
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

One of the main problems in evaluating financial performance arises in carrying out comparisons between municipalities, as no account is taken of the impact of certain factors of the social and economic environment on the indicators in question. In this study, the concept of financial condition is applied, revealing the influence of such factors, and a methodology is proposed to minimize their effects on the results of the evaluation. The results of applying these to a sample of municipalities in Spain reveal that the model is useful for reinforcing the value of benchmarking between municipalities with similar characteristics.Points for practitioners The use of indicators for evaluating financial performance has advanced considerably in recent years. However, many criticisms have been made by public sector managers concerning the application of such indicators. One of these is that, in many cases, the values measured by different authorities are not comparable, as the services they provide differ significantly. If local authorities were grouped according to the social and economic factors influencing their provision of public services, the evaluations made would be much more effective, facilitating decision-making by supervisory bodies and by municipal managers.

Journal

International Review of Administrative Sciences: An International Journal of Comparative Public AdministrationSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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