Performance measures relate directly to one or more purposes or key activities

PGPA Rule section 16EA(a)

The performance measures meet this requirement when they relate directly to one or more of entity's purposes or key activities.

Each performance measure must relate directly to one or more of the entity’s purposes or key activities. That is, each performance measure should be aligned with the objectives, functions or role of the entity. For example, for an entity with purposes relating to policing and national security, with a key activity relating to investigating serious crime, a performance measure might be expressed as:

  • ‘Percentage of cases before the court that result in conviction.’
  • ‘Positive return on investment for investigation of crime.’

Similarly, for an entity with purposes relating to regulation, and key activities relating to monitoring compliance and taking enforcement actions, performance measures might be expressed as: 

  • ‘Level of compliance with [specific statutory obligations] by regulated entities.’ 
  • ‘Proportion of decisions upheld upon review’ (potentially including a target set to reflect an agreed proportion).

By contrast, for an entity with purposes or key activities relating to the provision of policy advice to Government on legal matters, readers may find it difficult to understand how measures such as ‘Number of visitors to the entity’ or ‘Investment in new technologies ($)’ relate to the entity’s purposes. There is no clear connection between these measures and the purposes or key activities of the entity. Further, it may be difficult for the entity to demonstrate its level of achievement against its purposes through such measures.

Using mapping and structural techniques in corporate plans

A clear way to display the relationship between performance measures, key activities and purposes in the corporate plan is through the use of mapping or structural techniques.

The example below displays the use of these techniques in the performance section of the corporate plan to provide the reader with a direct and clear understanding of how a performance measure relates to a key activity and purpose, supported by narrative that provides context. This approach is adopted by many entities.

evaluation methods

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2021-22 Corporate Plan – pg 19.

Contributing to achieving common objectives

Many Commonwealth responsibilities and activities involve contributing to achieving common objectives across the Commonwealth, with other jurisdictions, international partners and other parties such as the not-for-profit sector.

In these circumstances it can be difficult for an entity to report a direct ‘attribution’ towards the achievement of a common objective. Performance measures can be designed to explain the contribution the entity makes towards achieving common objectives.

In the example below, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) measures the impact the policy advice it provides to key stakeholders has on their policy development and responses to threats.  The common objective is the response to security threats.

evaluation methods

ASIO 2021-22 Corporate Plan pg 19.

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