Unit Cost Reporting in New York City Government

Client: New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations
Faculty: George Sweeting
Team: Mac Cloyes, Yanjia Jiao, Lucas Koehler, Brian Math, Jiaying Yu
Year: 2013

The New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations aims to enhance the cost effectiveness of City agencies, and publicly reports City agency performance data in the Mayor’s Management Report. The Capstone team analyzed the current use of agency unit cost performance data, and developed recommendations to link budget and performance through unit cost indicators. The Capstone team first reviewed literature pertaining to performance measurement, unit cost and cost accounting in government. An analysis of unit cost data generated by eleven agencies for the period 2003-2012 revealed a general upward trend in unit costs. A survey of these agencies at the management and analyst levels found that unit cost data are important for making budgetary decisions and are relatively less important for public reporting. Lastly, the Capstone team engaged a select group of agencies to improve the calculation and usefulness of unit cost indicators.