Performance measurement

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: 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)

Showing 1 - 10 of 17 results. Order by: Most recent Alphabetical

Cover image of report showing adverts and brochures

Building Public Trust Awards – Examples of good practice in annual reports 2015

The Building Public Trust Awards recognise outstanding corporate reporting that builds trust and transparency. This interactive document illustrates a range of good practice examples in public sector reports.


Performance Improvement area(s): ,

8 Mar 2016

Whitehall road sign

Outcome-based payment schemes: government’s use of payment by results

Payment by results (PbR) schemes are hard to get right, and are risky and costly for commissioners. Credible evidence for claimed benefits of PbR is now needed.

Sector(s): ,

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19 Jun 2015

Tax Form

The effective management of tax reliefs

HM Treasury and HMRC do not keep track of tax reliefs intended to change behaviour, or adequately report to Parliament on whether tax reliefs work as expected.


Performance Improvement area(s): ,

21 Nov 2014


Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs 2013-14 accounts

The report covers HMRC’s progress in operating the PAYE service, its implementation of its new Real Time Information service and its performance in tax collection and in reducing error and fraud in personal tax credits.


Performance Improvement area(s): ,

3 Jul 2014

Bank notes

Forecasting in government to achieve value for money

Inadequate forecasting is an entrenched problem for government departments, leading to poor value for money and increased costs for the taxpayer.


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31 Jan 2014

Image of lion

Evaluation in Government

Treasury expects all departments to evaluate the ex post impacts and costs of all their interventions, including spending, taxation and regulation. This activity should provide valuable information on the cost-effectiveness of government interventions, for the purposes of accountability and to learn lessons to improve current and future policies.


Performance Improvement area(s): , ,

20 Dec 2013

Peoples Legs

Programmes to help families facing multiple challenges

Two government programmes aiming to help families with multiple challenges, such as unemployment and anti-social behaviour, are starting to provide benefits but considerable challenges remain.

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3 Dec 2013


Managing budgeting in government

The Government’s ability to show that its spending decisions represent the best value for money is being hindered by the patchy availability of good information.


Performance Improvement area(s): ,

18 Oct 2012

Office workers looking at paperwork

Implementing transparency

Better access to public information can improve accountability and service delivery. Government needs a firm grasp of whether that potential is being realised.


Performance Improvement area(s): ,

18 Apr 2012

Public Audit Forum performance indicators

In 2007, the five UK audit agencies jointly launched a set of indicators for each of five corporate service activities – estates management, finance, human resources, ICT, and procurement. Two further services were subsequently added – communications and legal.

Performance Improvement area(s):

1 Jun 2011

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