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- 1,500 public sector organisations are targeted to give their input to this unique snapshot of global performance management adoption and direction -

London, UK – May 13th , 2008 – Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the leader in delivering Rich Internet Applications Without Limits™, today announced the findings of the largest and most comprehensive global study of government and public sector performance management to date. The report was researched and authored by world leading expert on strategic performance management, Bernard Marr from the Advanced Performance Institute and co-sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and Actuate. Crucially, the report finds that organisations that apply the principles of strategic performance management well outperform those that don’t and it clearly highlights that public sector organisations have an obsession with measuring performance, but fail to manage it.

The findings, from over 1,000 respondents from the UK, US, Canada and Australia, confirm that merely having a set of performance objectives and performance measures in place does not lead to better performance. In fact, it often leads to a decrease in performance with perverse and dysfunctional behaviours such as sub-optimisation, target fixation, and the temptation to juggle figures. These findings are important in a world where the use of performance measurement and performance management has mushroomed among government and public sector organisations. The results of this study should inspire and create a renewed sense of urgency in this critical market sector to tackle performance management methodically and comprehensively

The study, entitled, Strategic Performance Management in Government and Public Sector Organisations attracted respondents from across the globe representing central and local government bodies, as well as national health organisations, police forces, fire and rescue service organisations, courts and education institutions. The study was conducted at the end of 2007 and early 2008 and opens by providing a unique insight into how public service organisations interpret and direct performance management, and it expands to highlight 10 principles for effective performance management, which pressured public service organisations would do well to abide by if they want to bring everyday operations back in line with top-level strategy.

The study’s author, Bernard Marr, explains the significance of this research, “Performance management has never been more critical in the public sector than it is today as governments across the world take this extremely seriously and many have introduced legislations and frameworks for this specific purpose in the organisations that report to them. Yet it is the way that performance management is handled and directed that makes the biggest difference between top-performing and failing public sector organisations. Those who indulge in the practice merely to keep external moderators off their backs are missing out on a great opportunity to intelligently and accurately assess and refine their operations, creating employee support along the way.” Bernard continues, “We hope that this research, and specifically the 10 principles or best practices we have defined and tested, will be used as a blueprint to improve the performance management practices in government and public sector organisations around the world, as they strive to address some of the most pressing challenges they have ever known.”

Key findings include:

• While government and public sector organisations have made huge progress with performance management, the implementations are often too mechanistic and numbers focused which prevents improvements in performance.

• Skills gaps in performance management analytics, i.e. organisations are drowning in data but thirsting for information.

• The lack of a clearly mapped strategy – which is like expecting to row a boat forward but without ever telling the people who row the boat which direction to aim for.

• 68% of organisations have juggled performance data to improve presentation – this calls into doubt the reliability and validity of the information used in the decision making process which could lead to the wrong or counter-productive decisions and resource allocation. If this perception reflects reality, it also highlights a potential public accountability issue with top down performance targeting systems.

“This report is a useful contribution to the debate on performance management in the public sector, as performance management is one of the most popular, but confused, areas in public management at the moment,” said Brendan McCarron, lead advisor, CIPFA Performance Improvement Network. “The best practices enumerated in the report will be useful in illustrating that the emphasis within performance management is changing, and indeed must continue to move from simply collecting and reporting performance data towards actively using performance information to learn and improve. I think this study will make a real impact on how strategic performance management is developed and applied in the UK public sector.”

Actuate’s interest in the survey findings is fuelled by its global role as one of the largest providers of performance management solutions to public and private sector organisations. Steve Fluin, senior vice president, performance management group at Actuate, said: “We frequently witness first hand the gap that exists between expectation and reality when it comes to performance management in the public sector. This study identifies clear areas for concern, but more importantly, it highlights the best practices that will enable these organisations to overcome the challenges inherent in creating sustainable performance improvement. Those public sector organisations that embrace these best practices will avoid the common pitfalls and achieve more effective performance management.”

Full results of the study are available on request. For more information on the study, its findings and how to secure a copy, please click

About the Advanced Performance Institute

The Advanced Performance Institute (API) is the world-leading independent research and advisory organisation specialising in organisational performance. The institute provides expert knowledge, research, consulting and training on concepts like Balanced Scorecards, Performance Measurement and Corporate Performance Management.

The aim of the API is to provide today’s performance focused companies, governments and not-for-profit organisations with insights, advice and services that help them deliver lasting change and superior performance.

The API was established in the mid 1990s and has continuously grown to its leading position where it provides research, consulting and training services to customers and clients across the globe. The Institute is headquartered in the UK but operates across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Australasia. For more information on the API and for more research reports and articles please visit .


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is one of the leading professional accountancy bodies in the UK and the only one which specialises in the public services. It is responsible for the education and training of professional accountants and for their regulation through the setting and monitoring of professional standards. Uniquely among the professional accountancy bodies in the UK, CIPFA has responsibility for setting accounting standards for a significant part of the economy, namely local government. CIPFA’s members work (often at the most senior level) in the public service bodies, in the national audit agencies and major accountancy firms. They are respected throughout for their high technical and ethical standards and professional integrity. CIPFA also provides a range of high quality advisory, information and training and consultancy services to public service organisations. As such, CIPFA is the leading independent commentator on managing and accounting for public money. For more information please visit

The CIPFA Performance Improvement Network is a subscription based network of public sector organisations who work together, through workshops and written documents in the areas of performance management, business process improvement and related areas to identify practical ways to improve local public services.

For Media Enquiries please contact:: Richard Taylor, CIPFA Press Office, 020 7543 5687;

About Actuate Corporation

Actuate Corporation is dedicated to increasing the richness, interactivity and effectiveness of enterprise data, for everyone, everywhere. Actuate delivers the next generation RIA-ready information platform for both customer and employee-facing applications. The Actuate platform boasts unmatched scalability, high-performance, reliability and security. Its proven RIA capabilities and highly collaborative development architecture are backed by the world's largest open source information application developer community, grounded in BIRT, the Eclipse Foundation’s only top level Business Intelligence and reporting project.

Global 9000 organisations use Actuate to roll out RIA-enabled customer loyalty and Performance Management applications that improve customer satisfaction and employee productivity. The company has over 4,200 customers globally in a diverse range of business areas including financial services and the public sector, many of which have a long history of deploying Actuate-based solutions for dozens, or even hundreds of their mission-critical applications.

Founded in 1993, Actuate has headquarters in San Mateo, California, with offices worldwide. Actuate is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol ACTU. For more information on Actuate, visit the company's web site at

PR Contact:

Carina Birt
PR for Actuate Uk
Tel: +44 1722 411150

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