While elected officials have the ultimate accountability with the voters, executives and managers within the public organization must have authority to make both strategic and operational decisions that align with the organizational goals and objectives. To ensure that the decisions and goals are in sync, elected officials must delegate accountability to managers for meeting performance expectations.

Organizational performance has two characteristics related to accountability: effectiveness and efficiency. Accountability for both effectiveness and efficiency should be delegated to an individual or team at either the strategic or operational level.  It is common for effectiveness to be accountable at the strategy level and efficiency to be accountable at the operational level. Often, strategic and operational decisions are made with implicit accountability. While some organizations may be able to function with implicit accountability delineations, most require a formal, explicit understanding between executives and managers of what they will be accountable for. Delegating accountability ensures that everyone within the organization understands expectations and is empowered to maximize performance.

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Accountability is a core principle within the National Performance Management Advisory Commission Framework (NPMAC, 2010).  It is essential to improving and managing performance. Simply stated, accountability is the assignment of responsibility to an individual, or team, for achieving specific, measurable, performance expectations. Without accountability, managers and team members lack the immediacy and incentive to innovate and improve operations. Recent federal issues (i.e., Newtown, fiscal cliff, and Benghazi) demonstrate that a significant portion of the public demands accountability of elected and appointed officials. Even at the local level, elected officials are becoming more publicly accountable for results. A strong accountability and management structure is essential for public sector organizations to maximize resources and achieve desired results. Visit TrueNorth, to learn more about BTRG’s exclusive performance management solution. To learn about the National Performance Management Advisory Commission, visit pmcommission.org.

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BTRG has been providing business process improvement, transformation and re-engineering services to enterprise-level and public sector organizations for two decades. Today, we offer TrueNorth, the market’s leading performance management consulting services designed specifically for public sector organizations.

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