Applying the Balanced Scorecard methodology in the public sector: the case of the Department of Defense in the United States

Γιάννης Α. Πολλάλης, Marc Gartenberg, Barbara Edmunds


The public sector in the United States continues to wrestle with the challenges of complying
with legislation such as the Information Technology Reform Act and the Government Performance
and Results Act that requires federal agencies to align their programs with the overall
mission of the agency and to report their success and failures on an annual basis to Congress.
The results unfortunately have not been very good. The Office of Management and Budget and
the General Accounting Office have found in their reviews that the federal government as a
whole has not been doing a very good job aligning their programs with the goals and establishing
effective performance measures.
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) offers a methodology that can be applied to the federal sector
to enable more effective alignment of programs to mission and a tangible means for measuring
the results. Some agencies, particularly within the Department of Defense, have embraced
the Balanced Scorecard as a means for achieving these objectives, and have successfully transformed
their programs to achieve higher productivity, aligning with the mission of the agency
and resulting in higher efficiencies.
This paper discusses the overall effectiveness and applicability of the Balanced Scorecard to
the federal sector of the US Government, including a specific real-world application by the Defense
Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS).


Public sector; United States; Balanced scorecard

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