2019 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?
Using data and evidence as part of the budget process helps state policymakers allocate funds based on information about what works.
The 2013 Colorado State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive and Transparent Government (SMART) Act required 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 achieve those goals; and (4) a summary of the department’s most recent performance evaluation. In addition, the state’s FY 2019-2020 budget development instructions (pp. 43-47) prioritize new program requests “based on the evidence and body of research supporting the program’s effect on desired outcomes and proposed implementation plan.” The instructions also include information on tiered evidence frameworks and program evaluation requirements. In the FY 2020-2021 budget cycle, the state applied an evidence continuum to budget requests and used that criteria to inform resource allocation decisions.
A 2013 Maryland law requires the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to submit an annual Managing for Results performance report to the state legislature as part of the budget process. This report contains the following information for each state agency: (1) the outcomes or results that have been achieved toward annual performance measures; (2) a three-year review of performance for each of the indicators; and (3) an estimate of expected program outcomes over the next two years.
A 2017 Minnesota law required state agencies to include performance data in their biennial budget documents. Minnesota Management and Budget issued guidance on how to report outcome data to help agencies and departments meet this statutory requirement. In addition, the state also used evidence to inform funding decisions resulting in $87 million in new or expanded evidence-based programming in the FY 2020-2021 budget.
A 2014 Mississippi law requires the Mississippi Departments of Corrections, Health, Education, and Transportation to report programs’ performance measures and cost-benefit ratios during the budget process. Many other agencies report similar information and Mississippi’s FY 2021 budget formulation process required all state agencies to include the level of evidence, performance measures, and a fidelity plan for any new proposed programs.
The Missouri Budget Explorer, launched in 2018, is a public-facing tool that provides transparency on state budget expenditures, hosts department-level budget summaries, and includes information on performance at the programmatic level. The state’s FY2020 budget instructions for program descriptions required each department to provide a standard set of performance measures for more than 600 major state programs, including activities, quality, impact, and efficiency.
A 1999 New Mexico law required 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. 95–157).
In 2018, North Carolina redesigned its budget process to increase the use of evidence-based decision-making. As a result, the 2019-2021 budget development instructions require that agency requests “for new or expanded programs or services must include evidence and research supporting the program’s effect on desired outcomes.”
A 2016 Oregon law (section 2) requires all Oregon state agencies to develop and use performance measures. The agencies must also submit to the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office an Annual Performance Progress Report detailing the agency’s programmatic outcomes, which are reviewed during the state’s budget process.