The Performance Management System of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Author: Willie Marquez

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Abstract: In 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was tasked with responding to Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath, the agency received widespread criticism for a slow and ineffective response, largely as a result of limited organizational capacity and bureaucratic inefficiencies throughout the different phases of disaster management including preparedness, response, and recovery. As a result, FEMA has established performance measurements to prevent such inefficiency from happening again. Specifically, they have made it a goal to align their strategic goals with performance measures, such as the percentage of satisfied customers, average time to provide logistical services, and the per capita loss of life. Yet, the organization can still improve its performance management system by broadening its performance measures, the population they survey, and the people who can contribute to developing performance measures. While federal level accountability acts are out of the control of FEMA, a larger government dialogue should commence regarding the expectations (and the impact of these expectations) that may hinder the level of innovation and efficiency organizations like FEMA can experience.

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