2.1. General guidance on scoring

Scoring of the 31 performance indicators is the heart of the PEFA process. For each indicator, the score takes into account a number of dimensions, which are aggregated according to the methodology described in section 2.2. Each dimension is scored separately on a four-point ordinal scale: A, B, C, or D, according to precise criteria established for each dimension. In order to justify a particular score for a dimension, every aspect specified in the scoring requirements must be fulfilled. If the requirements are only partly met, the criteria are not satisfied and a lower score should be given that coincides with achievement of all requirements for the lower performance rating. A score of C reflects the basic level of performance for each indicator and dimension, consistent with good international practices. A score of D means that the feature being measured is present at less than the basic level of performance or is absent altogether, or that there is insufficient information to score the dimension.


The D score indicates performance that falls below the basic level. ‘D’ is applied if the performance observed is less than required for any higher score. For this reason, a D score is warranted when sufficient information is not available to establish the actual level of performance. A score of D due to insufficient information is distinguished from D scores for low level performance by the use of an asterisk—that is, D*. The aggregation of multidimensional indicators containing D* scores is no different from aggregation with other D scores. Aggregate indicator scores will not include an asterisk, and thus the insufficiency of information is only noted at the dimension level.


There may be two situations in which no score can be allocated to an indicator or a dimension.

Not applicable (NA). In some cases, an indicator or dimension may not be applicable to the government system being assessed. In such cases ‘NA’ is entered instead of a score. In cases where one or more dimensions of a multidimensional indicator are not applicable, the assessor proceeds as if the ‘not


applicable’ dimensions did not exist. In some cases, a D rating on an indicator or dimension can lead to NA on others. For example, if there is no internal audit function (PI-26.1), the other dimensions of PI-26 are NA because there will be nothing to assess for those dimensions in the absence of an internal audit function.

Not used (NU). In some cases, it may be decided for certain reasons that a particular indicator will not be used. For example, it may be the case that the PEFA assessment is going to be combined with another detailed assessment of the relevant indicator, using a different assessment tool. In all such cases ‘NU’ is entered instead of a score.

The use of NA and NU must be justified in the PEFA report. Assessments that score less than two-thirds (21) of the PEFA indicators should be referred to as ‘partial PEFA assessments,’ to distinguish the assessment from comprehensive applications of the PEFA methodology.


The requirements for a score can be assessed on the basis of different time horizons. These are set forth in the specifications for each indicator. As a general rule, the assessment is based on the situation at the time


2. Guidance on Scoring