6 min read
Book a Free Consultation

How to Perfect a Local Government Year In Review: Budget Planning & Setting Goals

By Stephen Brandofino

As the year draws to a close, the role of local government officials becomes increasingly demanding. During this time, the weight of their responsibilities intensifies with the pressure to wrap up the year’s initiatives, while also preparing for the challenges that may come with the new year. With this comes a period of reflection on the progress that has been made as well as contemplation on what could have been done differently. 

At this pivotal juncture, it is important to keep in mind all of the different factors that play into planning for the year ahead, including balancing budgets, managing new infrastructure projects, and addressing community needs. Thankfully there are numerous ways to review your local governments progress throughout the year to plan ahead. Some useful methods to do this include holding town hall meetings, utilizing social media, and even looking at your local governments performance in a data driven methodology.   

Get a GovPilot Demo

What Is The Importance of Reviewing Government Performance?

It is essential for local government officials to review how they performed and operated over the past years. Some key reasons why reviewing government performance is important are listed below:

  • Accountability

Reviewing the performance of local government officials can help citizens in determining whether or not their elected officials made good on their promises, properly implemented policies, and used public resources efficiently. 

Learn about Tips for Newly Elected City Government Officials here. 

  • Public Engagement

Assessing local government performance encourages citizens to become more involved. If citizens become more involved in the reviewing of their local governments, they may become more comfortable voicing concerns, suggesting improvements, and contributing to the policies of the new year. 

Learn about Local Government Community Engagement Strategies here. 

  • Resource Allocation 

Looking at the performance of a local government over the past year can help in making more informed decisions regarding resource allocation. Gaining a better understanding of which areas or programs had the best results will help local government officials allocate resources more effectively for the year ahead. 

Evaluating and identifying different trends, strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require special attention can aid local government officials in long term planning. This type of information is a necessity when building future strategies and setting realistic goals and expectations for the future of the municipality. 

Learn everything about Municipal Planning Strategy for Local Governments here. 

What To Analyze During Your Year In Review

When looking to review a local government's performance over a year, it may be hard to know where to begin. Local government officials are responsible for the upkeep of many different facets of a community, so it is important to review the most essential information.

Here is a breakdown of what to analyze in your year in review:

  • Goals That Were Set

At the beginning of a year, the best way for a local government to move forward with plans for their community, is to set goals. Different areas may involve different goals, and it is important for officials to set goals that are manageable in regards to their budget and resources. Setting goals with defined metrics or dates, can allow for officials to easily decide whether goals were met or exceeded. This can also pave the way for officials to set the perfect goals for the upcoming year.  

Learn about Forming Local Government Mission Statement, Values, & Goals  to represent your municipality’s goals with our resource. 

  • Department Efficiency 

Many different departments work in unison within an effective local government. With that said however, some departments may not have performed as well as others in a given year. 

Local government officials should keep track of which departments within a municipality are running most effectively, and look at the inner workings of these departments to see what has worked and what has not worked. It may be beneficial for department officials to implement strategies that have helped the performance of a certain group. 

  • Review How Government Officials Can Be More Helpful

Local government officials should always strive to perform at their best for the betterment of their community. A year in review can be an ideal time for these officials to look inward to see what was effective and ineffective in their performance.

A year end review can allow for these officials to look proactively at ways for them to be more helpful to their community. It is important for elected officials to remain humble and willing to accept criticism for parts of their year that could have been better. 

Consequences Of Not Conducting A Proper Year In Review

A proper year in review is an essential aspect of an effective local government. It is important for local government officials to stay aware of all of the ups and downs that may have happened in their community in order to create future plans for improvement. Some may look at a year in review as an unnecessary step, but in reality it should be looked at as the most important step of creating an actionable plan for the new year.

Some unfortunate outcomes that can happen without conducting a proper year in review include:

1. Disorganization:

One of the biggest enemies of any local government is disorganization. With the large weight of importance that local government officials hold in the everyday lives of their constituents, it is essential for them to remain organized.

If disorganization exists, the entire municipal government will be misaligned on goals and important information that will be discussed during this review process. It is vital to keep everyone on the same page so that your local government stays united and morale remains high.    

Check out GovPilot’s Planning Module and other municipal software solutions here.  

2. Missed Expectations 

The main benefit of a year in review is it allows for local governments to set goals that they can work to reach in the new year. If a proper year in review is not done, then local government officials will miss expectations and underperform. Government workers can benefit from having goals and expectations set so that they know where to dedicate their time and focus going forward. 

Learn everything about Keeping Your Government Accountable and Building Trust. 

3. Lack of Improvement Next Year 

Local government officials should always strive to continually improve year after year. If they are not given important information on their performance over the past year, they will not know what they need to do to make improvements. A year in review can give local government officials a look at what can be improved on for the next year.

Read our Guide on Public Sector Recruiting: How to Hire Talented Government Workers here.  

4. Employee Frustration 

A year in review does not only benefit local government officials, but it also greatly benefits local government employees. If employees are not given this information, they may become frustrated due to the lack of structure and guidance from leadership. 

5. Budget /Resource Misallocation

A local government year in review can be a great way to decide where budgets for the new year should be allocated. If a proper year in review is not done, budgets can easily be mismanaged and funds may not be dedicated to the most important projects and areas. 

Read our guide on How To Improve Municipal Services for Underserved Community Members here. 

Vital Aspects of a Successful Year in Review

There are numerous different steps that go into a sound and successful year in review. It is important to factor in all of these vital steps if you want to successfully complete a year in review. 

  • Performance Reviews 

An essential step of a year in review is conducting performance reviews of each employee in a department. This can help them perform better year over year and answer any questions they may have about the year to come. One on one performance reviews can also help in fostering communication amongst different government departments.  

Also consider our guides on Strategies for Training the Older Workforce on GovTech and Embracing and Managing A Younger Generation In the Local Government Workforce

  • Budget Analysis 

One of the most important byproducts of a local governments year in review is to see where their budget should be allocated for the year ahead. Local government officials can ask themselves “Where was the budget lacking?” or “Where can we cut spending compared to last year?” 

This dialogue will encourage local officials to delve into the financial data of each department in order to better understand their budgets.

Local government officials work tirelessly throughout the year to better the lives of the constituents that they serve. With that said, there will be unanticipated shortcomings that may leave constituents feeling misrepresented. 

It is important to take certain things into account including what citizens were asking for over the past year and what they may continue to want in the new year. Some pillars of citizen services that should be addressed each year include better health services, sustainability, and better communication between government officials and citizens. 

Consider E-democracy In Local Government.

  • KPIs 

Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s, are an essential part of a year in review. KPI’s are goals or metrics set in order to determine whether a goal has been achieved or missed. Key performance indicators can be highly advantageous to local governments, as it can at times be difficult to quantify the performance of a local government, so using real numbers, dates, and other statistics can help officials measure their performance.  

Complete Your Local Government Year In Review Now  

Local government officials should look to dedicate time to perfecting a year in review that will help them succeed in the next year. A thorough review of their performance will not only benefit their constituents, but it will help shape the blueprint for a successful new year.  Book a consultation with GovPilot. 

Local Government Year In Review FAQ’s

  • Why are performance reviews important in government offices? 

Performance reviews are the best way to sit employees down on a regular basis to discuss their performance in a given period, setting and achieving goals, and areas of improvement. These help employees and their supervisors stay on the same page. 

  • What does a year in review consist of? 

A year in review for local governments should be robust, and include various key aspects such as: employee performance reviews, budget planning, organizational city planning, setting goals and objectives for the next year. 

  • Why does a year in review matter to local governments? 

Conducting a proper local government year in review enables governments to measure their progress and determine the key strategies to best serve their constituents. 

Learn about GovPilot’s helpful software's for a year in review: 

Read On: 

Tags: Constituent Engagement, Government Efficiency, More Money or More Problems, Digital Transformation, GovTech