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Case History: State of Florida

Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) reports to the State legislature.  Changes in OPPAGA’s roles and practices have been keyed to different stages of maturity of performance management systems and practices in the state since the 1994 passage of Florida’s Government Performance and Accountability Act.  To help assure quality implementation of the act, OPPAGA’s roles started as advisor to management (Role 4. Encourage or assist management) and auditor of performance data (Role 2. Assess performance information).  As agency data improved, OPPAGA became a user of the data, both to assist the legislature (Role 5. Assist elected officials or citizens) and to conduct higher value program evaluations (Role 1. Audit performance or PM systems).

After passage of the 1994 act, for the next few years, key OPPAGA practices included working jointly with the governor’s office to assist state agency management (Practice 4b. Assist management) in learning the State’s new performance-based program budgeting (PB²) system and in improving their own measures and systems.  As agencies started to implement PB², OPPAGA began assessing the relevance and reliability of agency performance measurement (Practice 2a. Test relevance or reliability) and issuing “accountability ratings for agency programs.

As more agencies met budget system requirements, OPPAGA’s technical assistance role diminished.  As agencies learned from the accountability reviews to build controls into their systems and managers took responsibility for data quality, OPPAGA auditors’ efforts to test quality diminished.  OPPAGA then began adding value in new ways, by shifting staff effort to PB² progress studies that encouraged the legislature to require systemic improvements (Practice 5a. External advocacy). OPPAGA also took onlegislatively-mandated “Program Evaluation and Justification Reviews” and, more recently, “Sunset Reviews” that use performance measurement and analysis to help the legislature make decisions on budget and policy (Practice 5c. Assist external decision making).  Also, OPPAGA has used agency PB² performance data and more advanced measurement by its staff to conduct more in-depth, high-value performance audits and policy evaluations (Practice 1a. Audit performance) than it could before high-quality agency performance information was available.