Monday, July 22, 2013

Durham Recognized for Performance Management Success

As a result of its efforts to improve transparency, accountability and work measures, the City of Durham has earned top honors and international recognition for its performance management success.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has recognized the City for superior performance management efforts with a Certificate of Excellence from the ICMA Center for Performance Measurement™. Durham is among 28 jurisdictions in the United States receiving this highest level of recognition this year and is the only city in North Carolina to be recognized. Last year, the City received a Certificate of Distinction, which is the second-highest honor.

According to City Manager Tom Bonfield, the key award criteria that was met includes the use of performance data in strategic planning; online dashboard reporting system; leadership in networking, benchmarking, and data sharing; and conducting and reporting of satisfaction surveys for both employees and residents.

“The Strategic Plan guides our decision making and resource allocation in a transparent manner,” Bonfield said. “Performance management ultimately aids in cost reduction, program prioritization, and quality improvement. I’m very proud that this organization won this highest recognition this year and I hope Durham residents are pleased that their local government has been recognized for sound leadership and for our demonstrated commitment to provide an excellent and sustainable quality of life for all who call Durham home.”

According to Bonfield, two of the reasons he believes Durham won this year’s top honor is because the organization is providing more frequent reporting of crime and departmental data to Durham residents and is often asked to share its expertise with other cities. In fact, this committed effort to provide transparent data is one of the reasons Durham was asked to participate in the Alliance for Innovation’s Results Management Collaborative, which provided a forum for Durham and eight other cities from across the country, to share information and best practices in performance management and public reporting.

Certificates are awarded at the levels of Achievement, Distinction, and Excellence. The certificate program assesses a local government’s performance management program and encourages analysis of results by comparing to peers and gauging performance over time. “The certificate program recognizes the principles of performance management,” said Wayne Sommer, ICMA’s director of U.S. Programs. “Jurisdictions meeting the qualifications have demonstrated leadership in continuous improvement and community engagement, and they serve as examples for other governments to follow.”

Criteria for the Certificate of Excellence include operational decision-making; sharing of performance measurement knowledge with other local governments through presentations, site visits, and other networking; reporting of performance data to the public through budgets, newsletters, and/or information provided to elected officials; and data-verification efforts to ensure data reliability.

Several City departments played a major role in the performance management process thus far, including Budget and Management Services, Audit Services, and the Technology Solutions Departments along with receiving extensive support from many City employees across the organization.

According to Budget and Management Services Department Director Bertha Johnson, whose department oversees the Strategic Plan and performance management system dashboard, this award recognizes the City’s dedication to transparency and accountability. “We are committed to sharing our performance with the Durham community and being held accountable for the results of our efforts,” Johnson said.

For more information about the City’s Strategic Plan, visit or contact Strategic Initiatives Manager Jay Reinstein by email at

About the Budget & Management Services Department
The City of Durham’s Budget and Management Services Department is responsible for preparing, implementing, and monitoring the City’s annual operating budget as well as the five-year revenue/expenditure projections for all City government services. The department also provides operational and organizational studies as identified by the City Council, City Manager's Office, and department staff. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, which the department established and maintains, the department helps to ensure that the City of Durham is a well-managed city by working with City agencies to build and implement performance measurement monitoring and evaluation. The department is also responsible for preparing the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), coordinating the City's process for petition and City-initiated annexations, conducting resident satisfaction surveys, and evaluating departmental achievement of City goals and objectives. For more information, visit

About the Audit Services Department
The Audit Services Department provides objective and independent assurance and investigative services of departmental transactions for the City of Durham. The Department reports functionally to the Audit Services Oversight Committee (ASOC); an independent committee comprised of City Council members and residents charged with providing oversight responsibilities for the audit function and ensuring internal controls are in place and implemented.  The Department implements a ten engagement annual audit plan approved by the ASOC to carry out its departmental mission. This mission includes the vetting of 300+ pages of data and text for the City-wide Strategic Plan. The Audit Services Department is staffed with 5 FTEs; and each staff member has specific responsibilities to ensure the integrity of the information in the City-wide or Audit Services Departmental Strategic Plans.

About the Technology Solutions Department
The Technology Solutions Department aligns the City’s information technology infrastructure and systems to the business needs of the City’s departments. It designs, implements, and maintains the technology hardware, applications, and programs. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, Technology Solutions ensures that its services support making Durham a great place to live, work, and play by helping provide a well-managed city and stewardship of the City’s physical assets. For more information, click here.

About ICMA
ICMA advances professional local government worldwide. Its mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management of local government. ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, provides member support; publications, data, and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect 185 million individuals living in thousands of communities.

About the Center for Performance Measurement
ICMA’s Center for Performance Measurement is dedicated to helping local governments use performance information to better the lives of the people they serve.  Jurisdictions are assisted with the collection, reporting and analysis of data relating to quality, effectiveness and efficiency of government services. The Center encourages the use of performance information in a positive, continuous-learning environment in order to foster organizational cultures that deliver results that matter.  For more information, please click here

Learn more online about Durham, NC.

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