services by tracking staff time. Cost information is then consolidated within the county so officials can establish expenditures by department and monitor expenditures against revenues on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis.

In the past, Napa County's budget was prepared by estimating revenues and expenditures without knowing what it cost to provide specific services, said county Auditor-Controller Pam Kindig.

"We now have a mechanism to gather the information and performance metrics that we need, such as how much it costs to issue a building permit," Kindig said. "We can place that information on the dashboard of the director of our planning department so he knows how many permits he's issuing, how long it takes to issue that permit and how much it costs to issue that permit."

Over the next year, Napa County will implement additional automation applications to increase its focus on performance management, and plans to tie in risk management and cash management. But for now, tracking IT projects and work force performance are the priorities.

"It's really about breaking down all the things the county does in such a way that citizens can better understand what it costs to deliver services," Wilson said. "It also shows citizens in the county that we are truly performing for them. Plus it provides a great oversight function."

Justine Brown  |  Contributing Writer