I have noticed the postings in restaurant windows about sanitation ratings, generally on an A through F platform.
This raises the question of why don’t we rate government program performance similarly with a very public notice good until the next rating? Of course, some will say that agency performance is more complex than a letter grade, and who will do the rating, appeal rights and more.
I asked myself what happens after agency and program audits and realized in most cases there are typical explanatory and defensive memorandums exchanged between the auditor and the director.
But do we ever hear what really happens after an audit? Does the auditing or control agency really have effective enforcement powers? Do the elected officials ever do more than take notice? Do the managers still get annual bonuses after a negative as we recently noted with the Veterans Affairs program audit reports?
Back to the restaurant grading model. If we can hold the small businessperson to a grade, then why not post a grade in the director’s office? With all the many millions of dollars spent on mandatory or voluntary performance and oversight audits, we should disclose the audit findings to the public.
I say the time has come to make audit reports more public and significant. Executive level staff and appointees ought to display the leadership to improve performance where needed and carry that grade for better or worse.
Ask any restaurant owner.
Submitted by Geoff McLennan