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Diagnosing performance management and performance budgeting systems: A case study of the U.S. Navy

Webb, Natalie J and Candreva, Philip J (2009): Diagnosing performance management and performance budgeting systems: A case study of the U.S. Navy.

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Abstract

We present here a case study of an organization within the U.S. Navy that created a new organizational construct and performance management system. We explore the issues faced by naval leaders as they attempt to use their performance information to make resource allocation decisions at the sub-organization level, and base budgets at the organization and service (navy) level. We attempt to diagnose many of the practical problems a government organization encounters when implementing a performance management system, to include trying to inform budgets, and make recommendations on actions that would improve the strength of the performance system. We find in the organization a good conceptual framework, organizational enthusiasm, and reasonable attempts to link disparate information systems into a coherent whole. The good intentions are hindered, however, by inadequate accounting systems, a lack of understanding of cost accounting methods, weak use of terminology and longstanding institutional attitudes. This case confirms challenges associated with both performance management systems and performance budgeting found in the literature, and we offer recommendations for public officials considering such endeavors.

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