Almost three years ago, I blogged on the need for a Key National Indicator System so we, as a nation, could track our progress using data, not diatribe. It’s happened. A provision buried on page 1,489 of the health insurance reform bill makes it real!
The legislation creates a bipartisan commission to oversee the development and implementation of a Key National Indicator System by the National Academies of Science. Congress has 30 days to appoint the 8 members of the commission.
The National Academies can partner with an independent non-profit entity – such as the State of the USA – or it can develop the Indicator System itself. The project is appropriated $70 million, through fiscal year 2018, to develop and maintain the Indicator System.
This effort was launched in 2003 by then-comptroller general David Walker when he headed the Government Accountability Office. He, and others, hope that providing an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental source of information about how well our country is doing will help provide a factual basis for policy decisions, and hopefully moderate ideological approaches to deciding on nation’s future. As GAO puts it: “A well-informed nation is an essential component of a healthy democracy.”
More importantly for the performance world, it could also serve as a solid foundation for creating a more results-oriented approach to governing!