H-3757.2  _______________________________________________


                    SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2618



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By House Committee on State Government (originally sponsored by Representatives Romero, Dickerson, Ruderman and Ogden)


Read first time 02/08/2002.  Referred to Committee on .

Demonstrating accountability through audits of state agencies.

    AN ACT Relating to public accountability and the reviews of state agencies; amending RCW 44.28.071; adding a new section to chapter 44.28 RCW; creating a new section; and providing an effective date.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that the use of outcome and performance measures is necessary for demonstrating the accountability of state government to the public.  The legislature also finds that performance measurement is integral to the efficient and effective management and operation of state agencies and programs.  Thus, the legislature intends to expand its review of these measures to provide greater accountability to the public and to ensure that state government has effective systems for assessing performance.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 44.28 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The joint legislative audit and review committee shall conduct audits of the performance and outcome measures of state agencies and programs that have significant fiscal or program impacts, represent major policy issues facing the state, or otherwise have compelling public interest.  In identifying the state agencies or programs for audits, the joint committee shall consult with appropriate fiscal and policy standing committees of the legislature.  These audits of performance and outcome measures shall eventually include all agencies of state government.  In conducting the audits, the joint committee shall work in cooperation with the office of financial management and state agency personnel.

    (2) The joint committee shall develop a schedule and common methodology for conducting these audits.  The audits shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    (a) Determine whether the performance and outcome measures are consistent with legislative mandates, strategic plans, mission statements, and goals and objectives;

    (b) Examine how agency management uses the measures to manage resources in an efficient and effective manner;

    (c) Assess how performance benchmarks are established for the purpose of assessing overall performance compared to external standards and benchmarks;

    (d) Assess how customer satisfaction, both internal and external, is integrated with performance and outcome measures to make operational improvements;

    (e) Examine how an analysis of the measurement data is used to make planning and operational improvements;

    (f) Determine how performance and outcome measures are used in the budget planning, development, and allotment processes;

    (g) Review how performance data are reported to and used by the legislature;

    (h) Assess whether the performance measure data are reliable and collected in a uniform and timely manner; and

    (i) Make recommendations as necessary.

    (3) Completed performance measure audits shall be presented to the joint committee and published in the same manner as prescribed for performance audits in RCW 44.28.088.  Final reports shall also be transmitted to the appropriate policy and fiscal standing committees of the legislature.

    (4) The joint committee shall complete audits of the performance and outcome measures for the department of social and health services, the department of ecology, and the office of the superintendent of public instruction by June 30, 2003, and shall present to the policy and fiscal committees of the legislature, by June 30, 2003, and assessment of the results of these audits.  In addition to results, this assessment shall include recommendations on how the review process might be improved, and options for extending the review process to other agencies and programs, through the joint committee's biennial work plans.

    (5) The joint legislative audit and review committee shall develop an implementation plan to complete audits of all government agencies and report this plan to the legislature no later than January 31, 2003.  Recommendations on how the review process might be improved shall be included in the plan.

    (6) The joint committee may consult with or contract with public and private independent and technical experts as necessary in implementing the duties identified in this section.

    (7) For purposes of this section, "state agencies" includes all elected state executive officials and all departments, divisions, boards, commissions, and institutions of the executive branch of state government.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 44.28.071 and 1996 c 288 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) In conducting performance audits and other reviews, the legislative auditor shall work closely with the chairs and staff of standing committees of the senate and house of representatives, and may work in consultation with the state auditor and the director of financial management.

    (2) The legislative auditor may contract with and consult with public and private independent professional and technical experts as necessary in conducting the performance audits.  The legislative auditor should also involve front-line employees and internal auditors in the performance audit process to the highest possible degree.

    (3) The legislative auditor shall work with the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee and the office of financial management to develop information system capabilities necessary for the performance audit requirements of this chapter.

    (4) The legislative auditor shall work with the ((legislative office of performance review and the)) office of financial management to facilitate the implementation of effective performance measures throughout state government.  In agencies and programs where effective systems for performance measurement exist, the measurements incorporated into those systems should be a basis for performance audits conducted under this chapter.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  This act takes effect July 1, 2002.


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