Independence and Objectivity

Program evaluation conclusions and recommendations are based on sufficient, competent and relevant evidence, yet opinion and judgment are also involved. Consequently, program evaluations may be more subject to questions, interpretation and disagreement than financial audits. To neutralize the possibility of individual biases among staff and to bring balance to the process, LSO evaluators conduct evaluations in teams.

At the onset of an evaluation, evaluators are expected to be objective and not have convictions about possible problems or solutions. Nevertheless, program evaluation is not a value-free activity. The following biases are essential to the process:

Laws should be observed.

Programs should be efficiently managed and resources should not be wasted.

Goals should be accomplished.

Program results should be consistent with legislative intent.

Functions should not be duplicated.

Program evaluations are not partisan tools. The Management Audit Committee assigns topics and may identify the scope of evaluations, but members do not direct or shape the course the evaluation takes. The reports themselves ensure balance by providing both the staff narrative and the agency's written response.

Important Links

Evaluation Standards

Confidentiality Requirements

Process Assurances