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MAYOR PRESENTS 'FINALIZED' ACCOUNTABILITY SCORECARDS

In an April 20, 2000 press release, the mayor unveiled his new scorecards "which will give residents a unique opportunity to hold the Mayor and his cabinet accountable for achieving citizen goals from the City-Wide Strategic Plan. Each scorecard has specific, measurable goals with deadlines for completion." In addition to being available on the District's website, they will be available on small printed cards--much like baseball cards" (the mayor's favorite sport).

"If every citizen can see the score every day, then this government will become more accountable to the pubic," said Mayor Williams. "It's a management tool to maintain a sense of urgency in this government".

NARPAC clearly supports the mayor's efforts to achieve accountability and urgency within his government. At the same time, however, it is a significant step backwards from the draft scorecards (above) proposed in late '99 by DC Agenda. The mayor acknowledged this in his testimony before Senator Voinovich's DC oversight subcommittee, as excerpted below:

"A detailed plan is a great way to keep our government focused and to hold agency directors accountable.... So I've developed a set of "scorecards" for myself and my agency directors based on citizens' goals from our strategic plan.... It's a management tool to maintain a sense of urgency in our government.

"This scorecard is very different than the draft scorecard I shared with you last spring...(because)...the draft scorecard was preceding the development of the Citywide Strategic Plan;...Many of the indicators were not within the power of the District to impact through government action (such as home ownership rate)...(and) the draft scorecard was dependent on data that was possibly unreliable;

"The scorecard is only one element of the broader performance management system we have in place to evaluate our Deputy Mayors and our Agency Directors. ..."

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pageNARPAC Commentary

NARPAC, Inc. finds it difficult to hide its disappointment in the limited scope of these scorecard goals, and the absence of so many longer range, broader objectives. Nevertheless, NARPAC is sufficiently far removed from the day-to-day problems in managing DC's bureaucracy (still frequently referred to as 'dysfunctional') that it cannot really differentiate between limited objectives of the city's leadership, and limited capacity of some 30,000 city workers to get anything done. Perhaps the best clue lies in the mayor's recent announcement (16 months into his first term) that he will seek a second four-year term because he cannot accomplish his objectives in a single term. And he now seems to talk of making DC one of America's finest cities--not the finest city. The scorecards would certainly confirm reduced near-term expectations, but his early commitment to persistence indicates that his reach exceeds his grasp. There are clearly some significant attributes to these cards, as well as some seemingly glaring deficiencies:

The Encouraging News:

o The scorecards now exist, and represent a clear commitment to accountability not only on the part of the mayor, but also of his very senior staff;

o The scorecard approach is so benign as to present little or no arbitrary threat to a paranoid bureaucracy;

o The "scores" are in fact quantitative and measurable, and in the main they are all positive;

o The scorecard goals are quite clearly from the plan recently developed with substantial neighborhood and individual inputs (though NARPAC thinks it falls short of a "strategic plan");

o The goals of the deputy mayors cross the domains of the clusters under their management. Thus the Deputy Mayor for Safety and Justice (DMSJ) is accountable for "boarding up 1500 units of nuisance properties", although this will presumably be done by the DHCD, under the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Likewise DMSJ is accountable for getting 1000 new drug treatment slots in the jails--the job of DoH under the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth and families. The workability of such a scheme could be questioned, though it does illustrate the cross-cutting nature of the deputy mayors' roles;

The Discouraging News:

o There is no evident assurance that such commitment to accountability permeates the ranks of middle management--where the resistance to change is often the strongest (the mayor has some 900 middle managers not subject to the protection of [federal] civil service rules);

o There is no way to gage the extent of the implicit consequences of failure to meet the goals. Until someone is censured for failure to meet a goal, there is no evidence of "teeth" in the scorecard gums. Only one third of the 4-dozen (non- redundant) goals are to be met before year's end;

o There is little evident "value added" by the offices of the four deputy mayors, since 23 of their 32 objectives are simply a repetition of those of the next layer down. This makes two highly-paid senior cabinet members responsible for the same goal, and none responsible for others;.

o There is a danger that other goals, particularly non-quantifiable ones, will be ignored as the bureaucracy focuses on these few publicized objectives to the exclusion of everything else. (In the Vietnam War, this became known as the "body count syndrome".):

o The mayor's own scorecard is virtually a cop-out: it simply repeats the mantra of the "strategic" plan for "strengthening children, youth and families"; "building and sustaining healthy neighborhoods"; "promoting economic development"; "making government work"; and "enhancing unity of purpose and democracy". It contains no quantifiable measures.

o Most of the individual goals have now become milestones in the development of the means (e.g., creating more drug treatment slots) without describing the end objectives (e.g., reducing the city's drug dependence to some 'acceptable' level); o There are some glaring absences from the goals such as:

  • improvements in public education (schools, colleges, and adult);
  • direct measures of health improvement;
  • growth in taxpaying business commitments;
  • completion of major development planning projects;
  • resolution of DC's public hospitals crisis;
  • increases in municipal government efficiency;
  • development of intra-regional cooperation;
  • etc.

The Missing Link--The Team Standings

From NARPAC's standpoint, the curtailment of the scorecard content represents a change in its purpose. To continue the baseball analogy (not NARPAC's forte), the scorecards have become the performance goals for individual players, and there is no longer any semblance of providing either regional or national standings for the DC Governing Team. Hence there are no measures of comparative progress towards becoming either one of or the leading jurisdiction within our own metro area, or the leading core city among American--or world-- metro areas. Such indicators of progress , as implicit in the draft scorecards and the NARPAC expansion thereof, and in the mayor's FY2000 DC Budget Proposal format, are a key element in improving DC's national standing as a proud capital city. They appear to have disappeared.

NARPAC believes the mayor needs a meaningful scorecard indicating his intentions for DC's regional and national standing, whether or not such goals are completely within his control, or whether the vast array of available comparative data are absolutely accurate.

Hidden Agenda Items?

On several occasions (See Washington`Post daily headline for April 16, 2000) the mayor has indicated his hope to be able to demonstrate that a fine American city can be managed by the new generation of professional African Americans. Stung early in his administration by a widely publicized comment that he "might not be black enough" to run DC, the mayor may simply be trying to prove that he is. Nonetheless, he seems to take pride in the fact that his cabinet now counts 34 blacks among of a total of 47 senior managers. To prove that his race is competent is surely a noble goal. To set a quota system for his cabinet is surely illegal. To limit his selection of candidates for high position in DC to any one-twentieth (roughly) of the total American professional talent pool would seem to NARPAC to be the heighth of folly. And if he's simply trying to match his city's demography, then he already has six too many blacks on board.

NARPAC deeply hopes that the mayor has no hidden racial scorecard, and that he will objectively seek the most competent people available for his administration, regardless of race, religion, or sex.

Summary of Scorecard Content

Below are listed each of the goals for each of the available scorecards (some are apparently still missing from the mayor's website. Goals shown in parentheses are repeats at the Deputy Mayor level:

Chief of Staff (Dr. Abdusalam Omer)

  • by 12/00, Engage 4,000 citizens in Neighborhood Action forums;
  • by 9/00, Conduct employee workshops in all DC agencies re City-Wide Strategic Plan;
  • by 12/00, Conduct 4 general training sessions open to all ANCs;
  • by 12/00, Host 4 DC government information fairs;

Dept of Public Works (Vanessa Dale Burns)

  • by 12/00, Plant 6,000 trees;
  • by 8/00, Resurface 150 blocks of streets and alleys;
  • by 7/00, Replace the lions on Taft Bridge;
  • by 9/00, 80% of DC's gateways, commercial and residential areas will be rated 'clean', or 'moderately clean;

Dept. of Motor Vehicles (Sherryl Hobbs-Newman)

  • by 10/00, Reduce wait time to 30 mins for 80% off license/registration transactions;
  • by 11/00, Break ground on a new DMV satellite service center;
  • by 12/00, Reduce average inspection service time to(?) 30 min;
  • by 12/00, Service walk-in parking hearings--80% within 60 mins;

Dept. of Employment Services (Gregory Irish)

  • by 6/00, Provide year-round training or employment for 650 14-24 yr olds;
  • by 12/00, Employ 1,000 residents in unsubsidized, private sector jobs;
  • by 12/00, Employ 330 Welfare-to-Work participants in subsidized jobs;

Dept. of Recreation and Parks (Robert Newman)

  • by 12/00, Begin construction on 6 recreation centers;
  • by 6/00, Launch DC Youth Corps program for 85 kids;
  • by 12/00, Increase hours of operation at 14 rec cntrs from 8 to 12 hrs;
  • by 12/00, Renovate 10 ball fields and 10 play courts;

Office of Aging (E. Veronica Pace)

  • by 7/00, Begin construction of Ward 8 Senior Wellness Center;
  • by 9/00, Place 500 seniors in jobs through existing programs;
  • by 12/00, Deliver one million nutritious meals to 8,000 DC seniors;

Metropolitan Police Department (Charles Ramsey)

  • by 9/00, Put 200 more officers on the street;
  • by 12/00, Achieve 5% reduction in Pt 1 Violent Crimes over prior year;
  • by 12/00, Achieve 5% reduction in Pt 1 Property Crimes over prior year;
  • by 12/00, Achieve 65% homicide clearance rate;

Fire and Emergency Medical Service (Thomas Tippett)

  • by 12/00, Provide first 911 response in 8 mins for 90% of critical calls for medical service;
  • by 12/00, Place 8 paramedic engine companies in service;
  • by 12/00, Fill 120 firefghter vacancies;
  • by 12/00, Train/redeploy civilian paramedics as dual role paramedic/firefighters;

Dept of Health (Ivan Walks)

  • by 12/00, Make 1000 drug treatment slots available in criminal justice system;
  • by 12/00, Create 1000 new drug treatment slots for gen'l population;
  • by 12/00, Enroll 3,500 uninsured DC residents in Healthy Families program;
  • by 12/00, Open 3 school-based teen health clinics;

City Administrator, DM, Operations (Norman S. Dong)

  • DMV (by 11/00, Break ground on a new DMV satellite service center;
  • DMV (by 10/00, Reduce wait time to 30 mins for 80% of license/registration transactions);
  • DPW (by 8/00, Resurface 150 blocks of streets and alleys);
  • by 9/00, E-Gov: launch 5 new information and service delivery features on DC website;
  • by 4/00, Require companies to repair failed street cuts within 24 hours of notification;
  • by 12/00, 80% good/excellent telephone service quality across DC-run agencies;
  • DPW (by 7/00, Replace the lions on Taft Bridge);
  • DPW (by 9/00, 80% of DC's gateways, commercial and residential areas will be rated 'clean', or 'moderately clean);
DM, Children, Youth and Families (DM,CYF)

  • by 9/00, Open 30 new out-of-school time programs;
  • by 12/00, Create 1,800 new childcare slots;
  • DoH (by 12/00, Enroll 3,500 uninsured DC residents in Healthy Families program);
  • OA (by 7/00, Begin construction of Ward 8 Senior Wellness Center);
  • DoES (by 12/00, Employ 300 Welfare-to-Work participants in subsidized jobs);
  • by 9/00, Open 10 21st Century Learning Centers;
  • by 9/00, Open 6 parent development centers;
  • DoES (by 12/00, Employ 1,000 residents in unsubsidized, private sector jobs);
  • DoH (by 12/00, Create 1000 new drug treatment slots for gen'l population);
  • DRP (by 12/00, Begin construction on 6 recreation centers);
  • DoES (by 6/00, Provide year-round training or employment for 650 14-24 yr olds);
  • by 12/00, Increase MRDDA case management staff-to-patient ratio 100% (1:60 to 1:30);

DM, Planning and Economic Development (Eric Price)

  • by 12/00, Demolish 500 housing units;
  • by 12/00, Begin construction on 1,000 new housing units;
  • by 12/00, Break ground on 2 new supermarkets East of the River;
  • DoES (by 12/00, Employ 1,000 residents in unsubsidized, private sector jobs);
  • by 10/00, Establish $30 million venture capital fund for business development;
  • by 12/00, Rehabilitate 1,000 existing housing units;

DM, Public Safety and Justice (Erik P. Christian)

  • MPD (by 9/00, Put 200 more officers on the street);
  • FEMS (by 12/00, Provide first 911 response in 8 mins for 90% of critical calls for medical service);
  • by 12/00, Board up 1,500 units of nuisance properties;
  • FEMS (by 12/00, Place 8 paramedic engine companies in service);
  • DoH (by 12/00, Make 1000 drug treatment slots available in criminal justice system);
  • DRP (by 6/00, Launch DC Youth Corps program for 85 kids);
  • by 12/00, Reduce "youth on youth" homicides (age 18 and under) by 10% ;

Goals to be Reached Before Year's End:

For those wishing to track progress during 2000, the goals due before the end of the year are repeated here

  • (DM,O) by 4/00, Require companies to repair failed street cuts within 24 hours of notification;
  • (DRP) by 6/00, Provide year-round training or employment for 650 14-24 yr olds;
  • (DRP) by 6/00, Launch DC Youth Corps program for 85 kids;
  • (DoES) by 6/00, Provide year-round training or employment for 650 14-24 yr olds;
  • by 7/00, Replace the lions on Taft Bridge;
  • (OA) by 7/00, Begin construction of Ward 8 Senior Wellness Center;
  • by 8/00, Resurface 150 blocks of streets and alleys;
  • (CoS) by 9/00, Conduct employee workshops in all DC agencies re City- Wide Strategic Plan;
  • (OA) by 9/00, Place 500 seniors in jobs through existing programs;
  • by 9/00, 80% of DC's gateways, commercial and residential areas will be rated 'clean', or 'moderately clean;

  • (MPD) by 9/00, Put 200 more officers on the street;
  • (DM,O) by 9/00, E-Gov: launch 5 new information and service delivery features on DC website;
  • (DM,CYF) by 9/00, Open 30 new out-of-school time programs;
  • (DM,PED) by 10/00, Establish $30 million venture capital fund for business development;
  • (DMV) by 10/00, Reduce wait time to 30 mins for 80% off license/registration transactions;
  • (DMV) by 11/00, Break ground on a new DMV satellite service center;


This item was archived in September, 2002

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