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During the 2005 legislative session, the General Assembly mandated that GEFP, under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget, conduct a review of all executive level agencies (See Public Law 246–2005, Section 255). The purpose of these reviews is to identify opportunities for aggressive government-wide reforms. These reforms will both improve Indiana State government's service to Hoosiers, and create a more transparent, performance-informed budgeting process.
In order to implement the broad scope of the legislative directive while still at a level of detail to be meaningful, OMB decided to focus on the programs for which executive branch agencies and departments are responsible. We developed a measurement instrument called Program Results: an Outcome-Based Evaluation (PROBE), which was based on the federal OMB's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The PROBE seeks to ascertain the effectiveness of Indiana state programs in achieving desired results and outcomes while considering the efficiencies in which program services are delivered. The objectives of the PROBE are to:
The PROBE will allow OMB, along with the appropriate budget analysts, to systematically ask agency program managers questions about key program characteristics:
It consists of eighteen "yes/no" questions and seeks explanations and evidence to support the responses. Each section's score is then weighted and summed for an overall program effectiveness rating. While the questions are standard across all programs to promote consistent application, OMB recognizes that there will be elements of subjectivity and the rating will not be the result of "exact science." The scores should not be used as a comparison to other programs but rather as a benchmark to measure program improvement.