ETC Institute's "Leading the Way" Award was created to recognize local governments for outstanding achievement in the delivery of services to residents. Recipients of the award rank in the top 10% of all local governments in the Unites States with regard to their composite performance in the three core areas that are assessed on ETC Institute's Direction finder Survey.
- Satisfaction with the overall quality of services
- Satisfaction with customer service provided by employees
- Satisfaction with the value residents think they receive for local taxes and fees.
A maximum of 100 points are awarded in each of these areas based on the results of the survey. In order to rank in the "Top 10% of All Cities", a city must have received a composite score of 210 or more, which means the city scored an average of a least 70 points in all three areas. The threshold of 210 was established using the results of surveys from more than 400 communities that have participated in ETC Institute's Direction Finder Survey over the past two years. The City of Brooklyn composite rating was 229 which was 53 points above the average composite score of 176 for all cities in the United States.
Since 1999, ETC Institute's Direction Finder Survey has been administered to nearly two million residents in all 50 states.