Who We Are: Program Evaluation’s Role in Serving State Legislatures

Introduction

To help meet this oversight responsibility, most state legislatures have created specialized units that conduct research studies and evaluate state government policies and programs. These studies—variously called program evaluations, policy analyses and performance audits—address whether agencies are properly managing public programs and identify ways to improve these programs and cut government costs. 

Who We Are (formerly Ensuring the Public Trust) summarizes information about these legislative program evaluation offices, which vary greatly in size, organization, and activities—just as their states and parent state legislatures do. The report is based on a nationwide survey of legislative program evaluation offices conducted by the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES); surveys have been conducted in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2019. The surveys are sent to NLPES offices affiliated with state legislatures across the country. While some states have more than one office that conducts evaluations, some states have not established evaluation units. Generally those responding to the survey have active legislative performance evaluation offices. 

The reports provide detailed information about the offices’ structure, staff, products, activities, and working relationships with their parent legislatures.

 

 

Year

Link to the full report

Number of survey respondents

2000

PDF logo2000 Ensuring the Public Trust (64 pages)

 

44

2004

PDF logo2004 Ensuring the Public Trust (53 pages)

 

37

2008

 PDF logo2008 Ensuring the Public Trust (73-pages).

 

41

2012

PDF logo2012 Ensuring the Public Trust (71 pages)

 

38

2015

PDF logo2015 Ensuring the Public Trust (73 pages)

 

39
2019

PDF logo2019 Who We Are (61 pages) 

 

40

 

Note: The reports are provided as PDF files; to view PDF files you must you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader.