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Regular version of the site

Article

Implementation of performance management in regional government in Russia: evidence of data manipulation

Public Management Review. 2016. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 110-138.

Public sector performance measurement may be affected by data manipulation. This study empirically explores strategies of data manipulation used by civil servants at the regional level in Russia. 25 civil servants from three regional governments were interviewed. Two strategies were identified: “prudent” bureaucrats kept a low profile by reporting “more-normal-than-real” figures; “reckless” bureaucrats aimed at inflating figures to maximize credit. Systematic application of these strategies produced a detectable bias in the overall performance data which was estimated using a nation-wide performance dataset covering the period of 2007-2011 (with a unified list of over 300 indicators from 83 regional governments).