Accountability and Performance Update – February 14-20, 2022

Rooting out Fraud in Government Programs

Government Executive

Machine-learning helps spot fraud, waste and abuse because it can not only automatically check massive amounts of data for signs of sketchy activity but also improve over time.

Transparency Websites: Interview with West Virginia State Auditor

Barrett & Greene

West Virginia state auditor JB McCuskey uses a state-level transparency website to allow citizens to see how American Rescue Plan monies are being spent. He’s also offered free accounting software to cities and town who want help recording the kinds of information the US Treasury is requiring as a condition of receiving these funds. Here’s a 20-minute web interview with McCuskey on West Virginia’s approach, which is a leading national best practice.

Guidelines for Building a Potent Performance Management System: CAP Webinar on March 1, 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Barrett & Greene

A recent Urban Institute paper by Harry Hatry and a number of co-authors, propose a series of “dos and don’ts” tips to strengthen performance management systems. Hatry will engage in a discussion of this paper along with co-authors Katherine Barrett, Richard Greene, and Maria Aristigueta. 

Immense Fraud Creates Immense Task

Washington Post

Roughly two years after lawmakers approved their first tranche of rescue funds, the U.S. government is grappling with an unprecedented challenge: how to oversee its own historic stimulus effort. Totaling nearly $6 trillion. . .  creating a unique and long-term strain on the nation’s policymakers to ensure the funds have been put to good use.

Kansas Performance Budgeting: Keeping Expectations in Check

Barrett & Greene

Kansas state auditors noted in a new report that the state’s executive budget division met most of the basic requirements of the Kansas 2016 performance-based budgeting law, it didn’t mince words on the actual impact of all the law: “This doesn’t seem to have meaningfully changed how the state budgets,” auditors wrote in big bold letters on page 2 of the audit.

Shared Measures: Collective Performance Data Used in Collaborations

Cambridge University Press (Alexander Kroll)

Increasingly, we see partnerships among government agencies, private or nonprofit organizations, and civil society groups. Such collaborations may also use goals, measures, and data to manage group efforts, however, the application of performance practices here will likely follow a different logic. This book draws on a case study of collaboratives in North Carolina that were established to develop community responses to the opioid epidemic. 

Resource of the Week: Charting the Next Decade of Evidence Generation in State and Local Governments: A Virtual Webinar Series

J-PAL North America (Poverty Action Lab)

 Speakers in the series will discuss how state and local governments and researchers can develop and implement evaluations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, racial equity, and climate change and environmental justice. 

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