§ 120‑36.11. Program Evaluation Division established.
(a) Division. – The Program Evaluation Division of the General Assembly is established. The purpose of the Division is to assist the General Assembly in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee government functions by providing an independent, objective source of information to be used in evaluating whether public services are delivered in an effective and efficient manner and in accordance with law.
(b) Director. – The Director of the Program Evaluation Division is appointed by the Legislative Services Commission and serves at the pleasure of the Commission. The Director is responsible for hiring and dismissing employees of the Division and directing the activities of the Division. The Director may not hire or dismiss an employee without the approval of the Legislative Services Officer. (2007‑78, s. 3.)
§ 120‑36.12. Duties of Program Evaluation Division.
The Program Evaluation Division of the Legislative Services Commission has the following powers and duties:
(1) To examine a program or an activity of a State agency and evaluate the merits of the program or activity and the agency's effectiveness in conducting the program or activity.
(2) To develop quantitative indicators for measuring the activities performed and services provided by a State agency and the extent to which the activities and services are achieving desired results.
(3) To develop unit cost measures to determine the cost of activities performed and services provided by a State agency.
(4) To determine if a program or an activity of a State agency complies with the agency's mission, as established by law.
(5) To make unannounced visits to a State agency when needed to evaluate a program or an activity of the agency.
(6) To make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a State agency.
(7) To determine the extent to which a State agency has implemented any of the Division's recommendations concerning the agency.
(8) To require a State agency to submit a written response to a proposed or final recommendation of the Division and to submit a written explanation of the extent to which the agency has implemented the Division's recommendations.
(9) To make periodic reports of the activities and recommendations of the Division and of any savings achieved by the implementation of its recommendations.
(10) To receive reports alleging improper activities or matters of public concern listed in G.S. 126‑84. The individual making the report may, at the individual's discretion, remain anonymous. Any report received under this subdivision, in whatever form, shall not be a "public record" as defined by G.S. 132‑1 and becomes available to the public only as provided in G.S. 120‑131. (2007‑78, s. 3; 2008‑196, s. 2(a).)
§ 120‑36.13. Work plan and requests for program evaluation.
(a) Plan. – The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee, in consultation with the Director of the Program Evaluation Division, must establish an annual work plan for the Division. The Division must adhere to this annual plan, unless the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee changes the annual plan to add a new evaluation or remove a planned evaluation. Any enacted legislation that directs the Program Evaluation Division to conduct a study or an evaluation is included in the annual work plan by operation of law; however, notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the enacted legislation did not have an impact statement, as provided in G.S. 120‑36.17, completed prior to its consideration by the General Assembly, then the study or evaluation shall be included in the next annual work plan adopted by the Committee and one year shall be added to any required reporting dates included in the legislation, except that the impact statement is not required and the evaluation may be included in the current work plan if the impact statement was not provided pursuant to the time requirements in G.S. 120‑36.17(b).
The annual work plan constitutes an information request and a drafting request made by the Committee cochairs to legislative employees under Article 17 of Chapter 120 of the General Statutes. Any document prepared by a legislative employee pursuant to the annual work plan becomes available to the public only as provided in G.S. 120‑131. Any document prepared by an agency employee pursuant to a request under G.S. 120‑131.1(a1) becomes available to the public only as provided in G.S. 120‑131.
(b) Request. – A request to the Program Evaluation Division for an evaluation of a program or an activity of a State agency must be submitted by a member of the General Assembly. The Director of the Division must review each request in accordance with the following criteria and make a recommendation to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee on whether to amend the Division's work plan to include the requested evaluation:
(1) The work required to conduct the requested evaluation.
(2) The effect that conducting the requested evaluation will have on the Division's ability to complete its work plan.
(3) The significance of the requested evaluation compared to the evaluations to be conducted under the work plan.
(4) Any overlap between the requested evaluation and other evaluations previously conducted by the Division or another agency. (2007‑78, s. 3; 2008‑196, s. 1(a); 2012‑80, s. 2.)
§ 120‑36.14. Content of report of Program Evaluation Division.
A report of an evaluation of a program or an activity of a State agency by the Program Evaluation Division of the General Assembly must include the following:
(1) The findings of the Division concerning the program or activity.
(2) Specific recommendations for making the program or activity more efficient or effective.
(3) Any legislation needed to implement the Division's findings and recommendations concerning the program or activity.
(4) An estimate of the costs or savings expected from implementing the Division's findings and recommendations concerning the program or activity. (2007‑78, s. 3.)
§ 120‑36.15. Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee established.
(a) Membership. – The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee is established. The Committee consists of 18 members as follows:
(1) Nine members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. At least two of the members must be a Cochair of the Senate Appropriations Committee or a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. At least three of the members must be members of the minority party.
(2) Nine members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. At least two of the members must be a Cochair of the House Appropriations Committee or a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. At least three of the members must be members of the minority party.
(b) Terms. – Terms on the Committee are for two years and begin on January 15 of each odd‑numbered year. Legislative members may complete a term of service on the Committee even if they do not seek reelection or are not reelected to the General Assembly. Resignation or removal from service in the General Assembly constitutes resignation or removal from service on the Committee. A member continues to serve until a successor is appointed.
(c) Chairs and Quorum. – The President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives must each designate a cochair of the Committee. The Committee meets upon the call of the cochairs. A quorum of the Committee is nine members. The Committee may not act except by a majority vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
(d) Standard Procedure. – In performing its duties, the Committee has the powers of a committee under G.S. 120‑19 and G.S. 120‑19.1 through G.S. 120‑19.4. Funding for the Committee is provided by the Legislative Services Commission from appropriations made to the General Assembly. Members of the Committee receive subsistence and travel expenses as provided in G.S. 120‑3.1. The Committee may contract for consultants or hire employees in accordance with G.S. 120‑32.02. Upon approval of the Legislative Services Commission, the Legislative Services Officer must assign professional and clerical staff to assist the Committee in its work. (2007‑78, s. 3.)
§ 120‑36.16. Duties of Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee.
The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee has the following powers and duties:
(1) To receive and review requests for evaluations to be performed by the Program Evaluation Division of the General Assembly.
(2) To establish an annual work plan for the Program Evaluation Division that describes the evaluations to be performed by the Division. The Committee must consult with the Director of the Program Evaluation Division in performing this duty.
(3) To receive reports prepared by the Program Evaluation Division.
(4) To consult with an oversight committee or another committee established in this Chapter about a report concerning a program or an activity that is within that committee's scope of study.
(5) To recommend to the General Assembly any changes needed to implement a recommendation that is included in a report of the Program Evaluation Division and is endorsed by the Committee. (2007‑78, s. 3; 2007‑484, s. 31.)
§ 120‑36.17. Program Evaluation Division impact statement.
(a) Every bill and resolution introduced in the General Assembly proposing a study or evaluation by the Program Evaluation Division shall have attached to it at the time of its consideration by the General Assembly an impact statement prepared by the Division. The impact statement shall identify and estimate, to complete all studies and reports required by the bill or resolution, all of the following: (i) the number of personnel required; (ii) the total number of hours required; and (iii) the estimated costs.
(1) If, after review, the Division determines that no estimates are possible, the impact statement shall contain a statement to that effect, setting forth the reasons why no estimate can be given.
(2) The Division shall indicate whether the Division, based upon its current annual work plan, has adequate and sufficient resources to undertake the study or evaluation as part of the current annual work plan, and shall explain the basis for its determination.
(3) If the Division determines that it would not be able to undertake the study or evaluation as part of its current annual work plan, it shall indicate a time frame in which it believes the study or evaluation could be accomplished.
(b) The sponsor of each bill or resolution to which this section applies shall present a copy of the bill or resolution with the request for an impact statement to the Program Evaluation Division. Upon receipt of the request and the copy of the bill or resolution, the Program Evaluation Division shall prepare the impact statement as promptly as possible, but shall transmit it to the sponsor within two weeks after the request is made, unless the sponsor agrees to an extension of time. If the impact statement is not transmitted within two weeks, or by the end of any extension of time as provided under this subsection, then there shall be no impact statement required under this section.
(c) This impact statement shall be attached to the original of each proposed bill or resolution that is reported favorably by any committee of the General Assembly, but shall be separate from the bill or resolution and shall be clearly designated as an impact statement. An impact statement attached to a bill or resolution pursuant to this subsection is not a part of the bill or resolution and is not an expression of legislative intent proposed by the bill or resolution.
(d) If a committee of the General Assembly reports favorably a proposed bill or resolution that directs the Program Evaluation Division to conduct a study or evaluation, the chair of the committee shall obtain from the Program Evaluation Division, and attach to the bill or resolution, an impact statement as provided in this section. (2012‑80, s. 1.)