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Recently Published Reports

For brief summaries of reports that are pending, visit the Work Plan and Current Evaluations pages.

Overnight Respite Pilot at Adult Day Care Facilities Perceived as Favorable, but Lacked Objective Measures of Success (October 2014) 2014-11

Session Law 2011-104 authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to pilot an overnight respite program in four facilities that provide adult day care and directed the Program Evaluation Division to evaluate its success. Stakeholders perceive the pilot as successful, but only one of the facilities consistently provided overnight respite. PED found the legislative mandate for the pilot and its implementation by DHHS only met two of ten recommended components of a well-designed pilot program. In addition, the legislative prohibition against using state or Medicaid funding for the pilot hindered its effectiveness. Furthermore, no organization affiliated with respite care maintains data on the need for the service. The General Assembly should allow the pilot program authorizing overnight respite at adult day care facilities to expire on June 1, 2015, and require state agencies and institutions initiating pilot projects to adhere to standards established by UNC's School of Government.

Executive Summary

Final Report

North Carolina Needs a Coordinated Strategy to Guide the Changing Landscape of Veterans Programs (September 2014) 2014-10

In State Fiscal Year 2013–14, North Carolina state agencies and public higher education institutions operated 23 programs for veterans, 11 of which spent $53.9 million solely on veterans and their families. However, few of these programs track outcome data, and therefore the State cannot determine the extent to which they improve the lives of their intended beneficiaries. Although the Governor recently created a Working Group on veterans via executive order, North Carolina lacks a coordinated and comprehensive effort to support veterans in the State. The General Assembly should establish the Task Force on Veterans, Service Members and their Families in statute, direct this group to develop and implement a statewide strategic plan to track and improve services for veterans and their families, direct state entities to track and report information to the Task Force, and create a legislative oversight committee to monitor and oversee the implementation of this plan.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handouts

Revising State Child Support Incentive System Could Promote Improved Performance of County Programs (July 2014) 2014-08

North Carolina's child support program operates under a state-supervised, county-administered model. Based on federal performance measures, the program ranks only 24th among the 50 states. The Child Support Services State Office does not effectively use its federal incentive award to promote improved county program performance. Additionally, the CSS State Office has not established specific spending guidelines and does not track incentive payment expenditures. The General Assembly should direct the CSS State Office to retain 25% of federal incentive money to improve centralized services and provide employee incentive bonuses, and should direct counties to report how incentive payments are being reinvested and to maintain their level of expenditures.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handouts

Improved Oversight of Volunteer Fire Department Fund and Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund Needed; $8 Million Surplus Found (April 2014) 2014-06

The Volunteer Fire Department Fund and Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund provide matching grants for fire and rescue departments to purchase equipment and make capital improvements. The Department of Insurance's (DOI's) failure to compare actual to projected receipts for both grant programs has resulted in an $8 million surplus in the Volunteer Fire Department Fund. Additionally, DOI's oversight of the grant award and distribution process could be improved. The General Assembly should determine how to apply the surplus in the Volunteer Fire Department Fund and direct DOI to improve its oversight of both grant programs.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

North Carolina Needs to Strengthen Its System for Monitoring and Preventing the Abuse of Prescribed Controlled Substances (April 2014) 2014-05

In North Carolina, there are four mechanisms to monitor and prevent the abuse of prescribed controlled substances: oversight of prescribers and dispensers, the Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS), Medicaid lock-in, and law enforcement. Currently, prescribing guidelines and continuing education requirements for prescribers are insufficient. The CSRS is underutilized and lacks important features for security and data analysis. Meanwhile, the lock-in program has been non-operational since July 2013, costing the Medicaid program an estimated $1.3 million to $2 million. The General Assembly should direct the development and adoption of statewide prescribing guidelines and require continuing education, and should also direct the Department of Health and Human Services to modify the contract for the CSRS to improve performance, improve the effectiveness of the Medicaid lock-in program, and develop a strategic plan and performance management system.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handouts

Improved Administrative Program Monitoring by the Department of Public Instruction Can Save Over $19 Million Annually (April 2014) 2014-04

In Fiscal Year 2012–13, the State spent $12 billion to provide a system of free public education. To ensure these funds are effectively used, the Department of Public Instruction provides administrative services that indirectly support the achievement of student outcomes. The cost to provide these services could be reduced by $19.3 million annually by changing the formula to allocate funds for school bus operations and by reducing textbook warehouse staffing. An additional $6.1 million of non-recurring savings could be realized by reducing the statewide fleet of spare school buses and the inventory of replacement parts. Currently, DPI's performance management system does not ensure the effectiveness of its administrative support programs. The General Assembly should direct DPI to take specific actions to improve administrative efficiency and require the department to implement an effective performance management system.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Department of State Treasurer Should Strengthen Its Oversight of the Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund (March 2014) 2014-03

The Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund provides $170 per month in retirement benefits. The Pension Fund is adequately funded, but the State's annual required contribution now exceeds the amount of property insurance premium tax proceeds going to the General Fund. The Department of State Treasurer overstated appropriation requests due to overly conservative actuarial assumptions; accepted delinquent member contributions without collecting additional costs to compensate for lost investment earnings; and minimally enforced the prohibition against paying benefits to members still working as firefighters or rescue workers. The department is taking steps to address these issues, and the General Assembly should require annual reports on its progress.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Performance Measurement and Monitoring Would Strengthen Accountability of North Carolina's Driver Education Program (March 2014) 2014-02

In response to a 2010 review by the Program Evaluation Division, the General Assembly passed reforms in 2011 that reaffirmed the responsibility of the Department of Public Instruction to administer the driver education program. While generally responsive to the 2011 reform law, DPI's strategic plan lacks objectives and quantitative performance indicators. In addition, DPI does not have a uniform method to deliver driver education statewide, performs no monitoring of LEA instructors, and failed to conduct a valid pilot project for testing the effectiveness of online versus traditional instruction. The General Assembly should require statewide performance measures and a data-driven outcome monitoring system for driver education as well as a feasibility study on offering uniform online classroom driver education.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handout

Revenue and Cost Trends Indicate Deficit in Volunteer Safety Workers' Compensation Fund in FY 2020–21 (February 2014) 2014-01

The Volunteer Safety Workers' Compensation Fund provides workers' compensation benefits to emergency first responders for compensable injuries or deaths. Without an increase in the revenue base, annual Fund expenditures will exceed total assets beginning in Fiscal Year 2020–21. To help maintain the long-term health of the Fund, the General Assembly should direct the State Fire and Rescue Commission to increase annual member premium income, modify the Department of Insurance's actuarial responsibilities with regard to the Fund, require the commission to enhance the Fund's cost-containment efforts by using a more data-driven approach, and amend statute to clarify Fund eligibility conditions.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

The UNC System Needs a More Comprehensive Approach and Metrics for Operational Efficiency (December 2013) 2013-08

The University of North Carolina (UNC) is a public, multi-campus university with 16 higher education institutions that differ in size, complexity, and scope. Since 2006, the UNC system has engaged in 11 operational efficiency projects that have saved $101.2 million to date. Despite these savings, the UNC system lacks important characteristics of a comprehensive approach to operational efficiency. The system also does not use specific metrics that measure the operational efficiency of its constituent institutions and lacks a reliable funding source for these efforts. In addition, most campuses do not track savings from operational efficiency efforts. The General Assembly should direct the UNC system to develop a more comprehensive approach to operational efficiency, including adopting a board policy stating its commitment and goals for these efforts, adopting metrics to track operational performance, and improving chancellor accountability.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handouts

Local Boards and Associations Administer Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Relief Funds with Limited State Oversight (November 2013) 2013-06

The Firefighters' Relief Fund, which has a state and local component, and the Rescue Squad Workers' Relief Fund provide benefits to firefighters and rescue personnel. Relief fund money is not being spent by local boards and non-profit associations at the rate intended by the General Assembly, has been spent on non-permitted uses, and is being invested without regulation. The General Assembly should either consolidate the State and local firefighters' relief funds and make administration of that consolidated fund along with the Rescue Squad Workers' Relief Fund the responsibility of the Department of Insurance, or improve oversight of all relief funds under their current administrative structures.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Overview of School Choice Options Provided by Colorado's Douglas County School District (October 2013) 2013-05

The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee directed the Program Evaluation Division to examine Colorado's Douglas County School District to determine whether its approach to school choice can inform state education policy-making in North Carolina. PED identified strategies that DCSD has taken to improve school choice in Douglas County, including expanding home education enrichment services, developing the Choice Scholarship Program, and enhancing partnerships with locally authorized charter schools. The General Assembly should consider several factors in determining whether to implement aspects of the DCSD approach to school choice, including: limited student performance data, demographic differences, and statutory changes that would be necessary for implementation. A statewide community engagement and strategic planning process could assist in determining whether the Douglas County approach provides opportunities for improving and expanding school choice options in North Carolina.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handout

Centralized Fleet Operations Will Improve Management and Oversight of Department of Public Safety Vehicles (April 2013) 2013-04

The General Assembly directed the Program Evaluation Division to evaluate fleet management among major law enforcement agencies. This report focuses on the 2,398 law enforcement vehicles owned and operated by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The management and oversight of law enforcement vehicles in DPS is fragmented, decentralized, and does not meet best practices. Furthermore, despite a directive to consolidate, DPS has yet to formalize a plan for centralized fleet management operations. The General Assembly should direct DPS to develop a plan and proposal for the implementation of a centralized fleet management program that meets best practice standards.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handout

Options for Creating a Separate Department of Medicaid Require Transition Planning (March 2013) 2013-03

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the single state agency responsible for the Medicaid Program and must operate within federal guidelines. DHHS has broad flexibility to manage the Medicaid Program and has delegated Medicaid administrative functions to the Division of Medical Assistance, other DHHS divisions and offices, other state agencies, and local government agencies. Based on experiences in other states, options exist for changing the organizational structure of the North Carolina Medicaid Program including a Department of Medicaid, a Medicaid Program Authority, and a Department of Health Services. Creating a new Medicaid agency in North Carolina has implications for the Medicaid Program, DHHS, and statewide business functions and would require a 12 to 18 month transition period.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Presentation with Audio

Handout

North Carolina Does Not Track Lands Submerged Under Navigable Rivers or Know the Extent of Private Claims (January 2013) 2013-02

The Department of Administration (DOA) is charged with managing and controlling the State's submerged lands. DOA does not have a comprehensive inventory of lands submerged under navigable rivers, so the extent to which private parties may hold title to these lands is unknown. Whereas DOA grants and tracks certain types of easements, it does not require easements for many structures built on lands submerged under navigable rivers and does not exercise its authority to lease or convey mineral deposits for most mining on submerged lands. The General Assembly could consider requiring DOA to improve its management and tracking of submerged lands and creating a submerged lands claims process based on a process North Carolina used for 25 coastal counties in the past.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

The Division of Public Health Should Remain in the Department of Health and Human Services (January 2013) 2013-01

North Carolina's public health system is an intricate network of partnerships between the Division of Public Health and local health departments, state agencies and universities, and other entities. North Carolina's public health system is seen as a model, but the State ranks in the bottom half of states for health outcomes because of high risk factors. The General Assembly should establish the North Carolina Public Health Council to develop a government-wide action plan and direct the Division of Public Health to explore ways to increase regionalization, improve the use the data, and strengthen quality improvement activities.

Executive Summary

Final Report

Presentation

Handout

Division Activities and Accomplishments: 2008 - 2012
(January 2013)

The Program Evaluation Division includes recommendations in our reports for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of North Carolina government. This publication follows up on those recommendations to determine what actions have been taken by the General Assembly or the agencies that were the subject of our evaluations. This publication also includes information about the program evaluation process and legislative oversight organization in North Carolina and across the country.

2008-2012 Report

How North Carolina Compares
(January 2013)

This compendium ranks North Carolina relative to other states on areas including population, health, education, taxes, and expenditures. This publication was designed as a quick reference that allows state comparisons across indicators and may be useful when evaluating outcomes of state government programs. Data were extracted from the U.S. Census Bureau and other national databanks to assure uniformity of measurement across states.

2013 Report

2013 Dashboard

2011 Report

2009 Report

Presentation

Program Evaluation Division, North Carolina General Assembly
Legislative Office Building, Suite 100
300 North Salisbury Street , Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
919-301-1404