Process Assurances

The program evaluation process includes assurances for program officials and staff as they assist evaluators with the process. Statute (W.S. 28-8-113) gives LSO evaluators unrestricted access to all information maintained by state agencies, including sensitive information and documents. However, evaluators must hold all information confidential, under penalty of termination for disclosure. Confidential information may be disclosed to the Management Audit Committee, but only to the extent necessary to document a statement or a report, and only in such a manner as to protect individual identities (W.S. 28-8-108(a)).

In order that agency personnel and others interviewed during the course of program evaluations can be comfortable in speaking freely, final reports do not identify individuals by name. Reports may, however, attribute comments to highly placed agency officials by title.

Before the release of a program evaluation, the draft report goes through a number of steps designed to ensure fairness to the agency or program under review:

LSO provides the agency with a draft for preliminary review.

LSO evaluators hold an exit conference with agency officials to discuss agency-initiated corrections to the draft. In response to this meeting, LSO evaluators typically revise the preliminary draft into a final draft.

The agency being evaluated has 15 days from receipt of the preliminary draft to respond in writing to the final draft that will be submitted to the Management Audit Committee.

The agency response is included in the final draft submitted to the Committee.

The Committee discusses the final draft report with the agency before voting on whether to release it.

Once released, the report, including the agency’s response, is made available to the Legislature, the Governor, and the public.

Program evaluations are designed to improve government operations and services. Reports may make recommendations to both the executive branch and to the Legislature, and agencies may choose to implement the recommendations voluntarily. However, neither the Committee members nor LSO staff has authority to compel compliance with the recommendations.

Important Links

Evaluation Standards

Independence and Objectivity

Confidentiality Requirements