By Luke Anderson | [email protected]
Residents can now track the performance and effectiveness of various city departments through a new feature on the City of Alexandria website.
The Public Performance Dashboard, which launched last year after a pilot program the year before, was developed by the Office of Performance and Accountability and is made up of almost 120 dashboards within 10 service areas. Each dashboard provides an analysis of annual data considered to be “key indicators” of the departments’ performance when compared to prior data year-over-year. Explanations of certain trends or drastic changes are also included.
Data ranges from emergency service response time, which was 11 seconds faster this year than in 2018, to the rate of teen pregnancy in Alexandria, which has fallen to its lowest level since 2004.
The dashboard features categories in inclusivity, safety, economy, transportation, health, youth, neighborhoods, environment, arts and recreation and government. Users can also search for keywords or sort by department to quickly find relevant information.
“I think this is a good way to hold ourselves accountable to the public and get good data out to the public so they can understand how their government is performing,” Mayor Justin Wilson said at the Nov. 12 legislative meeting.
The Performance Dashboard also assists city staff in decision-making. The city will be taking a closer look at why some of their employees voluntarily leave, after one dashboard showed that the turnover rate has fluctuated between 10 and 15 percent since 2012, according to staff’s presentation at the legislative meeting.
Staff also plans to look into new methods of responding to service requests and informing the community of their progress on these requests, since data shows that fewer Call.Click.Connect tickets are being completed on time. Timely completion of Call. Click.Connect requests is at 61 percent this year and has been steady declining since 2015, when 74.4 percent of requests were completed on time.
It is a helpful tool for city council to see where improvements can be made and to inform their decisions when forming or adopting new policies. Councilor John Chapman said that he “want[s] to see how we can take the next steps” toward finding solutions to issues the dashboard brings to light.
Visit the dashboard at www.alexandriava.gov/performance.