The U.S. Government and Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that profiles King County’s innovative use of community indicators in its AIMs High public performance website. Community indicators, such as average commute lengths and infant mortality rates, describe the state of the environment or community.
The GAO conducted a study under the direction of the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the development of a comprehensive key indicator system for the United States. King County was selected to be one of seven detailed case studies profiled in the report, represented the only county-level government, and was included with other leaders in the field such as Boston Indicators, Virginia Performs, and national reporting systems in Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
King County’s performance reporting website, King County AIMs High: Annual Indicators and Measures, has previously received five consecutive certificates of excellence by the Association of Government Accountants and been profiled by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. The GAO report identifies potential benefits of a national indicator system such as: (1) more informed policy choices, (2) a better educated citizenry, and (3) greater civic engagement.
The county uses community-level indicator information as context for how the county is doing overall. In the King County Strategic Plan, indicator information will help track progress for the plan’s objectives, such as keeping people safe in their homes and communities.
The GAO’s report can be accessed at: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-396