The next stage in the research project responded to concerns expressed in all agencies about how to best present their accountability information externally at the end of the funding year—in the form of an annual report directed within the core model of accountability to their primary constituencies but also designed within the more general model of accountability to reflect the interests of a broader set of constituencies. In essence, agencies wanted to know how best to ‘tell their story’, recognizing that effective accountability is effective marketing and that they all functioned in a competitive environment for resources, financial and human, and clients. The approach developed by the CCAF/FCVI 1 in Canada had been designed primarily as an annual reporting framework, and agencies had expressed interest in the insights from that framework used in the approach to general standards of accountability information across the cycle discussed in Chapter 5, and in the development of some of the specific components of the framework in dealing with costing and outputs/outcomes. So we undertook to offer a brief history of the approach, to offer a critique of the approach including the development of criteria for its use in annual reporting, and, finally, to make a proposal for using the approach in the light of the critique as a means of preparing annual reports.
The approach to performance reporting using 12 attributes proposed by the CCAF/FCVI in 1987 represented a creative and quite radical response to general frustration with limited progress in responding to the calls in the 1970s by the Auditor General of Canada for improved public sector accountability. The Auditor General’s concerns related primarily to the non-commercial, that is, non-profit part of the public sector (public