Governmental Operations

Suggested State Legislation: Connecticut Public Act 07-1 establishes a State Contracting Standards Board (SCSB) as an independent Executive Branch agency. The new board has various responsibilities associated with the state contracting processes, including reviewing, monitoring, and auditing state contracting agencies’ procurement processes.

Most states have initiated various cutback-management strategies in the past two years to deal with budget shortfalls and projected deficits. However, restructuring state agencies has emerged as the most popular approach to the current financial crisis. State agencies are likely to continue to privatize some of their programs and services as a cost-saving tool, although the rate of savings has been moderate. A growing number of states are using performance measures in their budgeting, although they are not widely used as an efficiency tool in state agencies.

Results-based decision-making in state government has gained considerable interest as part of government accountability. Use of outcome information by elected officials and managers in budgeting and improving services to citizens still falls far short of its potential. This article provides suggestions for more effective collection and use of performance information.

In his 2002 State of the Union message, President George W. Bush announced the creation of an umbrella citizen service initiative, the USA Freedom Corps, intended to dramatically increase volunteerism. Under this initiative, the Citizen Corps has the central responsibility for mobilizing local volunteers in emergency preparedness and response. Interviews of state officials who will implement Citizen Corps suggest a framework for understanding the success of federal volunteerism initiatives devolved to the state and local levels. Five factors appear important to implementation success: goal clarity, resource availability, promotional activity, management capacity, and the strength of the implementation network.

Chapter 8 of the 2002 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

This article examines recent developments involving a sample of interstate compacts and formal interstate administrative agreements, the purpose of which is to promote harmonious relations between sister states by resolving disputes and encouraging interstate cooperation.

 

This article assesses the progress of the states in redrawing state legislative-district lines for the elections of 2002, now that the 2000 Census of Population data is in the hands of state legislatures. It describes emerging trends this decade and highlights the experience of several states in dealing with both old and new issues in redistricting. Whereas the redistricting round of the 1990s can be described as the round of racial and ethnic predominance, the 2000 round will be characterized as the rejuvenation of partisanship.

Census 2000 data reveal a new set of patterns, featuring a new cast of demographic actors. States and regions have begun to steal the show from cities, suburbs and countryside. In this article, states are grouped into three broad categories according to their distinct demographic trajectories: the Melting Pot states, the New Sunbelt states and the Heartland states.

For too long, too little attention has been paid to the administrative arena of state government. This article examines recent trends and emerging issues in the scope, size and structure of state administration and the status and skills of administrators. The authors analyze data collected as part of the American State Administrators Project to identify trends in the personal and educational attributes and career paths of top-level state administrators.

Chapter 7 of the 2000-2001 Book of the States contains the following tables:

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