Current approaches to organisational performance evaluation are conceptually conflicting and empirically arid. They appear to be handicapped by either a desire to produce a single, overall measure of an organisation's performance or their inability to come to an agreement as to which constituency's goals for an organisation should be included in the evaluation process. This study introduces a new approach to assessing organisational performance. Organisational performance is viewed within a multi-dimensional framework where the multiple goals of an organisation are determined on the basis of its 'systems' needs and its 'constituent' preferences. It advocates the use of performance indicators to determine the level of attainment of an organisation's various goals once they are stated in specific, measurable terms.
Apart from examining the conceptual issues regarding organisational performance, this research project also deals with the accountability and performance evaluation of public authorities. The accountability and performance evaluation of public authorities should not focus exclusively on financial considerations. Public authorities are also required to meet certain public obligations and to pursue public policy objectives which may conflict with profitability objectives. Performance indicators provide a tool for accounting for and monitoring efficiency, effectiveness and quality in services provided as a complement to traditional financial indicators. A case example has been used to demonstrate 'how a few selected indicators can be used to assess the performance of a public transport undertaking, namely, the Brisbane City Council Bus Undertaking.