Public bodies, taxpayers and users need to be able to find out how well public money is being spent, especially when budgets have been cut and government spending needs to deliver more for less. To be able to assess the success of policies, programmes and major projects, government must build performance and value for money measures into design, and ensure that decisions are based on these measures.
A "performance framework" provides the information for those making decisions across an organisation to act coherently, address challenges and changes and explain actions taken. As a minimum, such a framework requires: an agreed set of outcomes for which the business is aiming; a realistic plan of what is needed to achieve them; data on performance against relevant measures; and a mechanism for identifying and overcoming obstacles that arise.
Key NAO publications: Performance measurement: Good practice criteria and maturity model (Nov 2016); Evaluation in Government (Dec 2013); Option Appraisal: Making informed decisions in Government (May 2011); Performance Frameworks and Board Reporting II (May 2011); and Taking the measure of government performance (July 2010)