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Excellence in performance reporting: The New York Mayor’s Management Report

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Performance reporting in public institutions is not an innovation anymore, but rather a great method through which these entities promote efficiency and at the same time, responsibility towards the general public.

The New York’s Mayor’s Office understands that and has set out quantitative statements for the objectives they aspire to achieve, overseeing and presenting their subsequent results through performance indicators, thus solidifying its commitment to transparency and accountability.

The biannual Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) presents the major accomplishments registered by the State of New York in the 2018 Fiscal Year, structured in agency chapters.

The Structure of the Report

Each agency chapter contains sub-chapters that present the institutions and departments contributing to the achievement of the objectives and reporting indicators.

For example, the chapter Public Safety and Access to Justice focuses on sub-chapters such as the New York City Police Department, the Fire Department, the New York City Emergency Management, the Department of Correction, etc. each of them having their own objectives with performance indicators associated with them.

Out of all these, today we’ll be taking a look at the New York City Police Department, which states its mission as:

“To enhance the quality of life by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear and maintain order”.

In the Management Report, the objectives through which they plan to achieve their mission are the following:

SERVICE 1 – Manage public safety programs related to criminal activity.

  • Goal 1a Reduce the incidence of crime.
  • Goal 1b Prevent terrorist attacks.
  • Goal 1c Respond to police emergencies quickly.

 SERVICE 2 – Manage public safety programs related to traffic safety.

  • Goal 2a Reduce the incidence of traffic collisions, injuries and fatalities.

SERVICE 3 – Manage public safety programs related to quality of life.

  • Goal 3a Reduce the incidence of quality-of-life violations.

SERVICE 4 – Ensure courteous, professional and respectful interactions with the community.

  • Goal 4a Improve police/community relations.

When it comes to their first goal, “Reduce the incidence of crime”, the Department follows through with their premise through Key Performance Indicators: New York City remains the safest large city with the lowest rate of crime per capita among the 10 largest U.S. cities.

management report

However, in the 2018 Fiscal Year, the presented indicators show there are some problematic areas as well: murder increased by 1% compared to the 2017 Fiscal Year, while forcible rape also increased, by 17%.

management report

Best Practices and Recommendations

Some of the best practices that we noted about their report are the following:

  • Targets and trends are presented, as well as the desired direction of development for each indicator
  • Critical indicators are presented with a star designation
  • The historical data included in the report allows for comparison of actual performance to past performance

Another best practice in the MMR is that the most important indicators in the report are represented in a graph format, through which one can easily spot the status and progress achieved.

For instance, when reporting on the framework of Public Safety and Access to Justice, the Department of Correction presents two indicators in graphs, as follows:

management report

These KPIs contribute to Goal 1a, Ensure the security and safety of inmates in DOC custody, under service 1, Provide a safe and secure environment for inmates, staff and host communities.

Besides tables and graphs, there are descriptive parts associated to each agency chapter, department, service and goal. Furthermore, there is a section dedicated to noteworthy changes, additions or deletions. This section provides miscellaneous information on KPIs, such as:

  • New calculation formulas
  • New data sources
  • New indicators introduced to strategic goals
  • Indicators no longer measured

In terms of improvement, one way to go about doing it is to use symbols (#, %, $) in front of each Key Performance Indicator, to ensure efficiency and eliminate redundancy.

However, the report can be an example for others to follow, in providing the means for citizens to evaluate a public institution’s performance.

Besides the above-mentioned best practices, it is especially important that the final material represents the collaborative effort of several entities, with their objectives and progress in alignment, and not just one or two institutions.

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