IFAC Examines Developments in Public Sector Performance Measurement Structures

Nov 06, 2008 | New York | English

As part of its mission to serve all professional accountants in business, including those working in the public sector, IFAC's Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee has conducted a survey to obtain information about the development of financial and non-financial performance measurement and reporting structures in various public sector entities around the world.

The results of this survey, contained in the information paper Developments in Performance Measurement Structures in Public Sector Entities, will help professional accountants in business, and others who work in the public sector, in evaluating and further improving their own financial and non-financial performance measurement structures. This will enable them to better plan, execute and control their organization's service delivery and to achieve a higher level of accountability. The results will also help IFAC's PAIB Committee to consider specific public sector aspects when developing International Good Practice Guidance for professional accountants in business.

The survey received 250 responses from public sector organizations at all levels of government and in a variety of sectors, including local councils, public utilities and various ministries from countries all over the world. The survey results clearly demonstrate that respondents are much more satisfied with the performance measurement structures in the public sector entities for which they completed this survey, if these structures possess the following, more advanced elements:

  • A balanced combination of relevant financial and non-financial objectives, supported by specific measurement indicators (financial and non-financial KPIs);
  • Accrual accounting for the budgeting, the (legislative) appropriation and the financial reporting processes;
  • Capability for capturing, processing and reporting useful information on both financial and non-financial developments;
  • Independent external review of the figures to report on financial and non-financial performance;
  • A formal structure for measuring and assessing risk, and developing strategies to control it; and
  • A regular review to ensure that the performance measurement structure remains effective and efficient.

IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 157 members and associates in 123 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. Through its independent standard-setting boards, IFAC sets international standards on ethics, auditing and assurance, education, and public sector accounting. It also issues guidance to encourage high quality performance by professional accountants in business.


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