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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Discussions of the performance of government have existed as long as government itself. Rulers—even autocratic ones—have usually sought to justify their rule by showing how it is beneficial to the ruled. In many modern democracies this has developed into a political theatre of performance where competing parties promise voters that their policies will deliver their version of “the good life”. This article starts by asking: Where does performance take place—with programs, organizations, or people? It then outlines some of the justifications and doctrines that have been developed in support of performance measurement and reporting and examines some of the counter-arguments which are typically advanced. The article then turns to examining some commonly employed models of performance and discusses performance audit. Finally, it examines what new challenges are on the horizon.

Keywords: performance management, government performance, performance measurement, modern democracies, performance models, public policies

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