2018 State Standard of Excellence
9. Outcome Data
Did the state or any of its agencies report or require outcome data for its state-funded programs during their budget process?
Why is this important?
Aligning performance reporting and budgetary cycles makes it easier for state governments to make funding decisions based on the outcomes and results achieved by state programs.
A 1999 New Mexico law (p. 5) requires all New Mexico state agencies to submit annual performance-based budget requests which include (1) the outputs and outcomes from each program, (2) performance measures and performance targets for each program, and (3) an evaluation of the program’s performance. This information is released annually in the state’s policy and fiscal analysis, which includes individual agency performance reports (pp. 87–129) and information on the cost effectiveness of different programs (pp. 15–20, 49–50).
The 2013 Colorado State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive and Transparent Government (SMART) Act requires all Colorado state agencies to submit annual performance reports to the Colorado state legislature as part of the state’s budget process. These reports include (1) performance measures for the major functions of the department, (2) performance goals for at least the following three years, (3) a description of the strategies necessary to reach the goals, and (4) a summary of the department’s most recent performance evaluation. For example, the 2018–19 Executive Branch Budget Instructions (pp. 33–34) required agencies to report anticipated outcomes, including the theory of change, the evaluation method used to assess effectiveness, the potential return on investment, the connection to state’s performance and strategic plans, and how new programs will be evaluated.
A 2014 Mississippi state law (Title 27, chapter 103, section 159) requires the Mississippi Departments of Corrections, Health, Education, and Transportation to report during the budget process about their programs’ effectiveness and cost-benefit ratio. Mississippi’s FY2019 budget formulation process required all state agencies (pp. 14–15) to include the level of evidence, the cost-benefit ratio, and the performance measurement plan for any new proposed programs. This law also required these agencies to develop an inventory of their programs based on four levels of evidence: evidence-based program, research-based program, promising practice, or other programs and activities. In 2017, the state published a report on adult prison intervention programs, which includes an inventory of prison-based programs and their estimated fiscal year expenditures and evidence base in FY2016 (pp. 5–6).
The Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget required all state agencies to submit the following information when requesting funds for new agency programs (p. 6) in FY2016: (1) information about the outcomes or results that have “been achieved by the same or similar programs or services in Utah or elsewhere,” (2) a description of the evidence base for the program, and (3) a list how data and evaluation will be used to track program outcomes.