The city's fiscal watchdog agency released a report Wednesday recommending that the Kenney administration implement performance measures in all city departments.
The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) report looked at the largest 21 agencies within the administration to determine whether the departments had clear goals and objectives and whether they had a way to measure their performance. This is the first time PICA assesses the city's ability to measure its performance.
"We were putting some of this in the five-year plan but performance accountability was getting lost, I thought," Harvey Rice, PICA executive director, said. So, he and his staff separated out the performance measurement part and made it its own report.
Some of the highlights of the review are as follows:
Commerce. Despite the importance of job creation, the City does not publish a strategic plan with clearly stated objectives for its lead economic development agency, the Department of Commerce. Similarly, the Department's performance measures in the Five-Year Financial Plan do not include outcome measures such as total payroll employment, or jobs attracted or retained as a result of City programs.
Fire. In 2012, PICA commissioned a comprehensive study of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fire Department. The Department has made a number of changes to its service delivery model since that time, but remains challenged to meet service demands. Response times for emergency medical services are below standards recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. A new strategic plan for the Department was released in December 2015. However, since the plan was released at the end of the prior administration, it remains to be seen whether it will be adopted by the Kenney Administration.
First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. The First Judicial District does not issue a report including many standard performance metrics for trial courts that have been recommended by the National Center for State Courts.
Human Services. The Department of Human Services has transformed its operations in response to sweeping recommendations made by the Child Welfare Review Panel in 2007. However, DHS has not yet implemented the Panel's recommendation to develop a report card presenting data on performance outcomes.
Innovation and Technology. The Philadelphia Code requires that the City develop an enterprise-wide strategic plan for information technology. To date, this requirement has not been met. The Office of Innovation and Technology should develop and routinely update such a plan to guide the City's investments in technology.
Police. The Philadelphia Police Department needs to publish more detailed performance measures that capture both outcomes and measures relating to operations. Crime outcomes should be reported by type of offense. Measures of service levels and operational indicators -- response times, police shootings, officer misconduct, and complaints -- should also be published to ensure accountability for processes as well as crime reduction.
Prisons. The Department of Prisons plays a crucial role in the City's criminal justice system. Efforts to reduce recidivism and help ex-offenders integrate into society are crucial. Prisons needs an updated strategic plan. In addition, performance metrics for the City's reentry programs need to be published.
Property Assessment. The Office of Property Assessment completed a historic city-wide property reassessment in 2014. To date, however, OPA has not complied with Philadelphia Code section 2-305, which requires annual publication of assessment ratio studies that include quantitative measures of assessment uniformity and equity for the city as a whole and for particular neighborhoods.
Revenue. The Department of Revenue needs to develop an agency-wide strategic plan to address its many challenges. In addition, it should begin publishing performance measures on enforcement activities and outcomes, and estimates of the amount of revenue not received due to non-filing, underreporting, and non-payment. These estimates should guide departmental enforcement strategies.
Sheriff. The Office of the Sheriff should begin to provide operating budget detail to the Office of Budget and Program Evaluation and publish detailed information relating to foreclosure sales to ensure financial accountability for this crucial function.
Harvey said the Kenney administration committed to implementing the recommended changes. "We're very encouraged," Rice said.
To read the full report, click here: http://picapa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/City-Performance.pdf