Many public agencies now face dual pressures to meet external accountability demands on one hand, and improve their internal performance on the other. This begs the question whether the demands that are made on public agencies to externally report on their performance have a limited or wide ranging impact on the utilization of performance indicators (PIs) for internal improvements. This article addresses this question via a small group of public agencies and public accountability authorities in Australia. It also examines the main factors that affect the use of PIs for decision making. The evidence suggests that the agencies use PIs more for meeting external reporting requirements than for achieving internal improvements. Various constraints on the use of PIs were identified, mainly technical problems, and to a lesser extent, political and organizational issues.