Public disclosure is the mechanism used to report on performance to those who are entitled to know. In this Scorecard we assess how effective reports of the agencies of the federal governments are in disclosing pertinent information to the American people. We review these reports with the mindset of ordinary citizens who are interested in looking for the benefits that the agencies provide and the effectiveness of the agencies' efforts. Thus, our research provides an assessment of an agency's transparency of communications with the general public, its portrayal of the public benefits it provides, and its leadership vision for the future.
In an era of increased demand for accountability, disclosure and transparency, the government has a responsibility to supply the American people with quality disclosures on the public benefits it provides. Clear, descriptive disclosure allows ordinary citizens to understand the strategic goals and assess the agencies' performance relative to those goals.
Annual performance and accountability reports are one avenue for agencies to communication with both citizens and policymakers. The purpose of this Scorecard is to encourage improvement in the quality of reporting on results achieved by government agencies. Researchers conducted our fourth annual evaluation of the reports produced by the 24 agencies convered under the Chief Financial Officers Act. By assessing the quality of the agencies' reports (but not the quality of the results achieved) we wish to learn which agencies are supplying the information that Congress and the public need to make informed funding and policy decisions.