4 Performance reporting |
27. The DfT's annual report for 2010-11 was a
shorter and less glossy document than its immediate predecessors.
It contains 10 paragraphs on "measurement of performance
and progress" which cover progress against the department's
structural plan, key achievements, and input and impact indicators.
These indicators were first published in the department's business
plan. No explanation was given there of the purpose of the input
indicators, which are all concerned with the cost of the rail
and road networks and bus services. The impact indicators, which
include, for example, measures of the reliability of journeys
and road safety, were described as being "designed to help
the public to judge whether our policies and reforms are having
the effect they want".
28. The department's annual report simply restates
the input and impact indicators without providing any figures
or explanation of what they are intended to show. Figures are
provided in a separate business plan quarterly update, although
there have been problems in some areas with publishing them.
The quarterly summary offers no explanation of the figures or
of recent trends.
29. The DfT's 2010-11 annual
report gives a very thin account of the department's performance
during the year. In particular, simply listing the department's
key indicators of performance does nothing to help people judge
whether the DfT's policies are effective. The problem starts with
the department's failure to explain what its indicators are for.
We recommend that the department rectify this omission in its
2011-12 annual report. In addition, the next annual report should
include data for each of the indicators, a brief assessment of
trends in the data, and the Government's view of the preferred
direction of travel for each indicator.
30. The DfT has for some years published a specific
annual report on transport security issues.
It is the only consolidated source of information on this subject
and was originally produced in response to parliamentary pressure.
This year the DfT announced that "any necessary transport
security parliamentary reporting" will be included in the
department's annual report, in order to rationalise reporting
value the annual report on transport security, which is the only
consolidated source of information on this important topic. We
would be strongly opposed to any diminution in the quantity and
quality of information published by the DfT on transport security
as a result of its aim to rationalise reporting requirements by
merging the transport security annual report with the departmental
42 Business Plan 2011-15, DfT, Nov 10 p25. Back
Ev 30. Back
The latest being published in November 2011, Cm 8217. Back
Ibid., paragraph 1.16. Back
Ibid., paragraph 1.17. Back