Act 1465 of 1997 (the Louisiana Government Performance and Accountability Act) requires that each agency (budget unit) receiving an appropriation in the general appropriation act or the ancillary appropriation act produce a series of performance progress reports. The purpose of these reports is to track the agency's actual progress toward achievement of annual performance standards.
The Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) in the Division of Administration, as the official record keeper and repository of performance data, maintains an electronic performance database, the Louisiana Performance Accountability System (LaPAS) to track performance standards and actual performance. To ensure the integrity of the performance database, the OPB also designates the medium for transmission and storage and establishes the rules for electronic transmission of progress reports and database access. State departments and agencies submit quarterly performance progress reports via LaPAS.
Act 1465 of 1997 provides official definitions and sets specific requirements for submission and content of the performance progress reports. These definitions and requirements are explained below.
Definitions and Explanations
Fiscal Year - The Fiscal Year for which the Performance Indicator is being reported. State Fiscal years are from July 1 through June 30 of every year.
Program - A grouping of activities directed toward the accomplishment of a clearly defined objective or set of objectives.
Objective - A specific and measurable target for achievement which describes the exact results sought, which is expressed in an outcome-oriented statement that may reflect effectiveness, efficiency, or quality of work, and which may be either numeric or non-numeric.
Performance Indicator - A statement identifying an activity, input, output, outcome, achievement, ratio, efficiency, or quality to be measured relative to a particular goal or objective in order to assess an agency's performance. Performance indicators are the tools used to measure the performance of programs. Performance indicators consist of two parts: indicator name and indicator value. The indicator name describes what you are measuring. The indicator value is the numeric (or other) value or level achieved within a given measurement period.
Key Performance Indicator - A performance indicator that is included in the executive budget supporting document and the general appropriation act or the ancillary appropriation act. In general, key indicators are outcome indicators (indicators that directly relate to or measure the outcome described in an objective) or other measures that provide especially valuable information for budget decision making. Key indicators always have a performance standard (an expected level of performance at the appropriation level). Key indicators are reported each quarter in LaPAS.
Supporting Performance Indicator - A performance indicator that is included in the executive budget supporting document and the general appropriation bill/act or ancillary appropriation bill/act. Many of these indicators are input, output, efficiency or quality indicator that help make up a balanced set of indicators and provide important background information to support a key indicator.
Supporting indicators always have a performance standard (an expected level of performance at the appropriation level). Supporting indicators are reported in LaPAS at second quarter (or midyear) and a yearend actual is reported at fourth quarter (or yearend).
General Performance Information Indicator – A performance indicator that is included in the executive budget supporting document to provide valuable historic, trend, or comparative data. GPI indicators may be included in the general or ancillary appropriation act. General performance information indicators are reported on an actual basis only and do not have performance standards. However, GPI indicators are tracked for historical and trend purposes in LaPAS; a prior year actual value is reported at second quarter (or midyear) and a yearend actual is reported at fourth quarter (or yearend).
Performance Standard - The expected level of performance associated with a particular performance indicator for a particular period. Performance standards are developed during the operating budget development process and established during the appropriation process. They represent the expected level of performance (performance indicator values) to be achieved during the fiscal year for which a budget estimate or an appropriation applies. Performance standards are commitments for service associated with the level of funding budgeted/appropriated. Performance indicators at both key and supporting levels become performance standards at the conclusion of the initial appropriation process. See Guidelines for Development and Revision of Performance Standards on the OPB website for more information. A performance standard is compared to the actual yearend performance for that indicator and variance (percentage difference) is calculated.
Interim Performance Targets - Intermediate service levels marked for accomplishment. Annual performance standards are divided by the agency into quarterly (for key indicators) or semi-annual (for supporting indicators) performance targets. Actual year-to-date performance for each report period is compared to the cumulative target for that same report period and variances are calculated.
Prior Year Actual - Actual data (real data based on actual activity) for the prior fiscal year.
Quarter - This column identifies the four quarterly reporting periods for the current fiscal year.
Interim Target - This column contains quarterly interim targets for the current fiscal year. Agencies may manage their own targets in a forward manner. Targets for all key and supporting indicators are first entered during the First Quarter. After that, agencies may modify quarter targets in those quarters that occur after the one in which the agency is reporting. For example, in the second quarter, an agency may revise targets for Third Quarter and Fourth Quarter. Targets should be cumulative.
Actual Value - This column contains figures for quarterly actual performance in the current fiscal year. Actuals should be cumulative.
Variance - The percentage difference between a performance standard or target and actual performance. Variance is calculated by dividing the actual performance by the standard or interim target and subtracting 1.00. Variance for most numeric indicators is calculated automatically by the Louisiana Performance Accountability System (LaPAS).
This definition of "variance" does not conform to that of the term as used by statisticians. Act 1465 uses the term "variance" but the actual calculation sought for performance comparison purposes is that of percentage difference. The Office of Planning and Budget regrets any discomfort this may cause the statistical community.
NOTE: For variances in which zero "0" is part of the calculation formula—that is, when either the standard or target or actual is "0," then LaPAS defaults to a variance of 5.01%. This necessitates an explanatory note but does not skew the variance by signaling either a 0% or 100% variance.
Approved - This column shows whether a designated agency approval authority has approved the information reported by the agency for a particular quarter. If it displays a "NO," then any information reported by the agency for that quarter should be considered preliminary and unofficial.
Quarter 1 Notes - Explanatory notes or comments related to Quarter 1.
Quarter 2 Notes - Explanatory notes or comments related to Quarter 2.
Quarter 3 Notes - Explanatory notes or comments related to Quarter 3.
Quarter 4 Notes - Explanatory notes or comments related to Quarter 4.
Yearend Notes - Explanatory notes or comments related to yearend performance and the variance between annual performance standard and yearend actual performance.