Program Evaluation Division Work Plan

As outlined in our statute, the biennial work plan is developed by the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee and the Division Director, with input from staff. Requests for program evaluations must come from a member of the General Assembly. The Division Director will review the requests in light of staff capacity and the current work plan and will make a recommendation to the Oversight Committee as to alterations of the work plan. Any project required by state law automatically amends the work plan.

The Program Evaluation Division's 2018–19 Work Plan was approved by the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee on April 9, 2018.


Evaluation Projects Underway:

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. This evaluation will examine the effectiveness of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), a private nonprofit organization that was created in 2014 through legislation and is responsible for a number of economic development “marketing and sales” functions that previously resided within the North Carolina Department of Commerce. These responsibilities include new business recruitment; existing industry support; international trade and export assistance; small business counseling; and tourism, film, and sports promotion.

NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (NRCS-EQIP). This evaluation will examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the grant application process for stream restoration evaluations administered by the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Environmental Quality under the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (US Department of Agriculture) Environmental Quality Incentive Program. This program provides grants for stream restoration evaluations conducted on agricultural or non-industrial forest lands.

Modernizing Spirituous Liquor Sales in NC. This evaluation will examine whether other systems for alcohol beverage control are appropriate for North Carolina. This evaluation will provide a review of other alcohol beverage control systems, including the State of Washington, which recently changed its beverage control system from state government control of wholesale and retail control of spirituous liquor to a licensure model. The Program Evaluation Division’s report North Carolina's Alcohol Beverage Control System Is Outdated and Needs Modernization recommended that the General Assembly consider whether the current system of alcohol beverage control needed further modernization.

Erosion and Sedimentation Control Program. This evaluation will examine the state-created erosion and sedimentation control program and the federally-created construction stormwater National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, both of which are administered at the state level, by the Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources (DEMLR). This study will evaluate the effectiveness of the erosion and sedimentation control program, determine the existence of duplication between the erosion and sedimentation control program and the construction stormwater NPDES program, and identify related opportunities for efficiencies.

Disaster Recovery Acts. This evaluation will study implementation of S.L. 2016-124 and S.L. 2017-119 (2016/2017 Disaster Recovery Acts). The project will examine the State's current structure for distributing both state and federal funds, including federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds, and determine whether modifications to the structure would result in increased time efficiencies in distributing funds to qualified recipients. It will also examine the current reporting requirements in this section and the 2016/2017 Disaster Recovery Acts to determine what modifications would provide the General Assembly with more complete and integrated information regarding the status of disaster recovery.

Disadvantaged Schools That Succeed. This evaluation will identify at least 10 high performing American school systems with predominantly economically disadvantaged student populations and compare the systems on several variables (e.g., pupil academic performance outcomes, charter school prevalence, student mobility, per pupil funding by source, total system and school average daily membership, pupil special need, school lunch assistance percentages, school calendars). In addition, this evaluation will explore reasons for the better outcomes of these systems and report on any common best practices applicable to North Carolina.


Evaluation Projects Pending:

State Scholarships and Education Loan Programs. This evaluation will examine the extent to which statefunded scholarships, grants, and educational loan programs have met their goals. The evaluation will also examine the educational and vocational outcomes of students who have received this support.

Child Protection Screening. This evaluation will examine the effectiveness of the child protective screening process used by county departments of social services and determine whether there are differences in how county departments of social services approach child protection screening and identify the need for a child protection response. The evaluation will also evaluate state supervision and guidelines for child protection screening. In North Carolina, child protective services are state-supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services and county-administered by 100 county departments of social services. Child protection screening is the process used by county departments of social services to determine whether reports of child maltreatment require a child protection response.

Organizational Layers in the Department of Environmental Quality. This evaluation will examine the organizational layers of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by conducting a bottom up review of all supervisory, managerial, and executive positions and examine level of approvals required for issuance of permits for more complex industrial and agricultural activities. The Program Evaluation Division’s report Most Departments’ Spans of Control and Number of Organizational Layers Do Not Meet Recommended Levels found that DEQ had 10 organizational layers, which exceeded the statewide standard of 7 and was the fourth highest among the 21 principal departments.

NC Innovations Waiver Services (Medicaid). This evaluation will examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the NC Innovations Waiver including eligibility determination, plan of care development and approval, development of individual budgets, and LME-MCO management and monitoring of services provided under the waiver. The North Carolina Innovations Waiver Services (NC Innovations) funds services and supports for Medicaid beneficiaries with intellectual and other related developmental disabilities who are at risk for institutional care. NC Innovations is authorized by a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under Section 1915 (c) of the Social Security Act. The current waiver was renewed and approved to be effective for five years as of August 1, 2013. Local Management Entities-Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCOs) are responsible for certain management and oversight activities for the waiver.

Regional Councils of Government. This evaluation will examine the effectiveness of the 16 Regional Councils of Government in North Carolina including an examination of overall operations, staffing, activities, performance measures, finances, and services provided to local governments. Regional councils of governments are authorized under state law and executive order, and they provide programs and services to their local governments and residents.

State Ports Authority. This evaluation will examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the State Ports Authority and its operation of the Wilmington and Morehead City ports. The State Ports Authority is charged with promoting, developing, constructing, equipping, maintaining, and operating the harbors and seaports within the State. The 2017 financial audit of the Authority showed that its profitability had decreased over the previous year, and the General Assembly has appropriated $70 million for capital evaluations in recent years.


Measurability Assessments:

As directed by Session Law 2016-123, the General Assembly may require a measurability assessment (an independent evaluation conducted on a new or existing State program) of any proposed or existing State program to determine whether the program is or will be capable of reporting performance and return on investment. The Program Evaluation Division must use a competitive process to prequalify independent measurability assessors; establish standards for assessor qualifications, independence, and conducting and reporting measurability assessments; and select the assessor.