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Missions and Measures Provide Accountability for State Spending

The Republican-led Majority has responded to declining revenue from North Slope oil production in part through a systematic reform in state fiscal policy: holding state government agencies responsible for defining their missions and measuring how well they accomplish them, in a process known as results-based budgeting.

Results-based budgeting is founded on the idea that an organization as large and complex as Alaska's state government can work more effectively if the legislative and executive branches first identify a mission for each department and division, then hold them accountable for achieving measurable results.

Integrating missions and measures into the full budgetary process has required a significant rethinking of how these two branches of state government share responsibility for how state money is spent to meet Alaskans' needs. But it has resulted in significant benefits in increased efficiency, improved delivery of service, more focused efforts, and more clearly justifiable expenditures.

House Bill 250, passed by the Legislature this session, represents a continuation of the Legislature's seven-year program of using missions and measures to bring increased accountability to the state's spending. HB 250 establishes missions and measures for state government for the 2002 fiscal year starting June 30.

By updating and refining the missions and measures drawn up cooperatively by the Legislature and administration, HB 250 provides assurance to the people of Alaska that they are getting good return for the money invested on their behalf in state programs. If the Legislature's annual review reveals that government is not achieving its missions, it can review the specific functions that are falling short, and direct that they either be modified to work properly, or abandoned so their resources can be redirected to programs that are working.

Missions and measures are an important way the Legislature has enhanced state government accountability, and are an important foundation to the state's long-range fiscal health. Before considering asking residents for additional funds, the Legislature and administration have an obligation to show Alaskans that state government is spending public money wisely.

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What are "Missions and Measures"?
Scroll down page to "Results-Based Budgeting & FY01 Operating Budget" section

Alaska's Legislative Finance Division
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