Promise due dates explained

Is a promise without a due date still a promise? We believe so.

This is how we deal with due dates and time references when adding promises to the database:

Where a mayor doesn’t specify a due date in a promise and gives no indication of the time frame, we assign the end of the five-year term as the due date for the promise.

Where nonspecific time references are used, we assign due dates as follows:

  • Immediately – the day after the promise date
  • In the near future – one month from the promise date
  • In the coming weeks – two months from the promise date
  • Soon – three months from the promise date
  • In the coming months – six months from the promise date

A quick guide to promise outcomes

When we track a promise, we assign one of four ratings:


The promise is fulfilled by the due date.

Kept in part 

The promise is either partially fulfilled, fulfilled after the due date or both.


No progress has been made and the due date has passed.

Note: There are cases where progress is not taken into account because it’s an all-or-nothing promise. An example would be the eradication of the bucket system: you have either reached zero by the due date as promised or you haven’t.

In progress

This indicates that work on a promise has started but the due date has not yet arrived.

Note that the status of a promise might change as new information becomes available or as promises become due.