The return of PhillyStat: City renews transparency efforts

    Accountability. Transparency. Performance.

     

    These are words the city would like you to associate with its PhillyStat program – especially if you happen to be a person who thinks in buzzwords.

     

    PhillyStat was launched by former Managing Director Camille Barnett when Mayor Nutter first took office. It was supposed to be the city’s “performance management” tool: It would collect data on how well city departments were doing their jobs, report information and come up with innovations to improve efficiency. It mostly involved top officials appearing in front of Barnett and answering questions.

     

    Current Managing Director Richard Negrin suspended the program when he took over last year, saying it was falling short on the third goal of improving performance.

     

    After a year’s hiatus, PhillyStat returned this month, with a couple of important tweaks. Some meetings, chaired by the mayor, would focus on measuring the city’s progress toward big goals. Other meetings, chaired by the Managing Director, would focus on improving the performance of specific departments. All would be public.

     

    There have been three “new” PhillyStat meetings. Are they working? On this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, Doron Taussig uses the PhillyStat approach to review Juliana Reyes’ job performance, and shed light on what works and doesn’t work about PhillyStat.

     

    “It’s Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation.

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