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ROLE 5: Assist Elected Officials or Citizens

Practice 5c. Assist external decision making: Assist external stakeholders in using performance information to make decisions.

Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) [Profile]

From 1997–2006, OPPAGA was required to complete a “Program Evaluation and Justification Review” of each state agency program operating under the state’s performance-based program budget (PB2) and issue a report of each review to the legislature.  These reviews served as performance reports on individual programs and as evaluations of specific program management and policy issues, and could include both recommendations for management improvements and for legislative action, and thus contribute to legislative decision making.  More recently, legislature had gone to a five-year cycle of close legislative review of all programs, which had helped to determine OPPAGA’s schedule.  Each year, OPPAGA selected programs to review based on a combination of performance risk assessment and legislative policy priorities.  This was balanced against programs that relate to policy issues of interest to the legislature, determined by OPPAGA in meetings with the legislative leadership and its staff.  Justification reviews often included aspects of a performance audit and examination of performance and policy considerations that could help legislators make budget and policy decisions.  At the time, the Justification Reviews represented about 40 percent of OPPAGA’s workload.

The Justification Review schedule has since been completed.  However, OPPAGA continues to use performance measures in its legislative studies.  More recently, the 2006 Legislature created a Sunset Review process that requires OPPAGA to conduct agency studies somewhat similar to the Justification Reviews described above.  These Sunset Reviews will be conducted on approximately four state agencies every two years, and the cycle will repeat once initially completed in 2022.

More information on OPPAGA’s Program Evaluation and Justification Reviews, including a list of what justification reviews typically involved and an example of a legislative use of one of these reviews [Example in 2004 Guide-PDF]


Reports:

Justification Review reports from 1997 to 2004

Internet-based Public Information Related to Program Performance: OPPAGA maintains a website, the “Florida Monitor” that includes a wide range of information about OPPAGA (including downloadable reports back to 1995 and lists of earlier reports), about Florida’s performance-based program budget (PB2) system, and about all State of Florida agencies and programs.  Much of the information on about 300 agencies and programs is on the “Florida Government Accountability Report” (FGAR) portion of the website.  For every state program, FGAR contains descriptive program summaries with links for more details (including links to related legislation), several years of program funding by source, summaries of program issues and OPPAGA evaluative comments (with links for more details for some issues), links to performance measures and standards for the program as approved by the legislature in the budget process, links to other OPPAGA reports on the program and to the program agency’s website, and agency program contact people and phone numbers.  While FGAR was designed to serve anyone with an interest in state government, OPPAGA particularly had in mind providing a readily accessible information resource to help new legislators learn about agencies and programs and their performance issues.

In 2003, OPPAGA initiated the Florida Monitor Weekly, an e-mail newsletter for Florida public policy research, that anyone with an e-mail address can receive free by signing up for it at OPPAGA’s Florida Monitor website.  The Florida Monitor Weekly covers selected issues each week, as an information service to bring attention to issues of interest to Florida policy makers.  OPPAGA now prints out copies of the Florida Monitor Weekly for members of the legislature and legislative staff, and emails notices of upcoming reports to legislators before releasing the reports.  Printed copies of Florida Monitor Weekly can also now be purchased by the public at the Florida Legislature’s on-line ‘legisstore’.

More information on OPPAGA’s on-line resources for legislators and others, including more details on the content of The Florida Monitor Weekly [Example in 2004 Guide-PDF]


On-line Resources:

Home pages or front pages of these Internet services: