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The Use of Performance Indicators in the Public Sector

Peter Smith
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society)
Vol. 153, No. 1 (1990), pp. 53-72
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2983096
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2983096
Page Count: 20
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The Use of Performance Indicators in the Public Sector
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Abstract

Performance indicators have become ubiquitous in the public sector. In this paper, recent developments are assessed in relation to work in the private sector, where public reporting of activity has a much longer history. It is shown that lines of accountability are far more complex in the public sector. A history of initiatives to 1989 in the UK is followed by a brief survey of the analytic techniques available to interpret performance indicators. The paper ends with an attempt to trace the purposes underlying the various initiatives described and warns of the possible inefficiencies that they might induce.

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