This paper uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the operational effectiveness of the UK Coastguard (Maritime Rescue) coordination centres over the period 1995-1998. Based on the development of a performance measurement framework that is considerably more realistic and complex than the one apparently used by the Government, the main grounds for the latter's decision - confirmed in 1999 - to close the Oban, Pentland and Tyne Tees coordination centres are called into question. The paper aims to contribute to the relevant academic literature in two ways: (1) by using formal analysis methods to measure the operational performance of a vital government-supplied service where such methods have not been applied before; and (2) by demonstrating how the results of suitable regression models can be used to inform the specification of appropriate DEA models, particularly with respect to the incorporation of relevant environmental factors.
- performance measurement
- data envelopment analysis