All state and local entities of government should be maintaining performance standards and actual measures of performance against those standards, according to the recent recommendations of the Center for Michigan. The Center further suggests that agencies should be funded at least in part on the basis of their results in achieving those standards.
In the transportation field, the Legislature and/or MDOT should work towards developing more comprehensive performance standards and measures of performance for all aspects of their operations. Such data is critical for many decisions, including determinations about in-house vs. outsourced design and maintenance work. Results should also be a factor in the level of funding provided to the department. For instance, some percentage of compensation for department employees should be based on achievement of departmentwide goals.
The Legislature and/or MDOT should also establish a system of performance standards and measures that would be required of local road agencies. These performance measurement requirements would include a number of ones recommended by the Michigan Asset Management Council. The Council’s and other performance standards and measures decided on by the Legislature and/or MDOT should be made mandatory for those agencies receiving MTF money. Local agency funding should then at least in part be based on the degree to which progress is made towards achieving goals. Goals might relate to topics such as pavement condition, accident levels, construction costs, and maintenance costs. Agencies with strong performance on key performance measures could receive bonus funding from a special fund of money within the county and the city MTF distribution funds.