Norwalk, CT, October 13, 2003—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently published the Special Report, Reporting Performance Information: Suggested Criteria for Effective Communication, which presents a set of suggested criteria for use in developing external reports on performance information. The report is the result of work performed as part of the continuing GASB research project on service efforts and accomplishments (SEA) reporting that is funded, in part, through a Sloan Foundation grant.
The purpose of the SEA research project is to encourage state and local governments to experiment with external reporting of performance information, to provide nonauthoritative guidance for the communication of performance information and to assess how successful the guidance has been in assisting governments to effectively communicate the results of their efforts and accomplishments.
The GASB has issued research reports in the past that emphasized current practice in SEA reporting and, how governments could begin experimenting with reporting SEA information based on examples from current practice. This report describes what governments can do to produce effective reports on performance. The 16 suggested criteria discussed in the document provide guidance that should result in external reports on performance that communicate relevant, reliable information about the performance of government programs and services to elected officials, citizens and other users.
The development of the criteria was an iterative process reflecting lessons learned from studying state and local governments’ use of performance measures for budgeting, management, and external reporting; discussions with groups of citizens; information received for the GASB’s SEA task force; discussions with preparers; and analysis of criteria used by other types of organizations and in other countries.
The Special Report may be obtained by contacting the GASB Order Department at 800-748-0659 or placing an order on-line at the GASB’s website. Additional information on the GASB’s SEA research project can be obtained at the SEA website, www.seagov.org.
About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board's diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website www.gasb.org.
Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Improving governmental accountability through better financial reporting