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    City Council committee calls for evaluations of new city programs

    City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/16/2013

    Councilmember Tim Burgess

    City Council committee calls for evaluations of new city programsResolution states expectation that evaluations be designed and funded in Mayor's 2014 budget proposal

    The Seattle City Council's Government Performance and Finance Committee today unanimously approved legislation (Resolution 31425) calling for the design and funding of evaluations of any new programs in the Mayor's 2014 budget proposal.

    "We have a fiscal responsibility and a moral obligation to invest in effective programs for both the taxpayers and for the vulnerable who rely on our vital services," said Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the committee. "The proactive measurement and evaluation of results is what Seattle residents expect and deserve."

    The resolution states the Council's expectation that any funding proposal for new or expanded programs in the Mayor's proposed 2014 budget be accompanied by independent evidence of its effectiveness.

    If the proposed program is un-tested, the Council will expect the Mayor's budget submittal to include funding and design of a thorough and independent evaluation.

    In its deliberations last November for the 2013 City budget, the Council added funding for the City Auditor to help design and implement evaluations of new and expanded programs proposed in the budget. Today's action signals the committee's intent for this work to be done prior to the delivery of the Mayor's budget proposal to the Council in future budget cycles.

    The legislation also reaffirms four questions asked by the Council last fall:

    1. What are the long-term and measurable goals (outcomes) of the proposed program?
    2. What is the gap between the current situation (status quo) and the goals?
    3. How effective will the program be in making progress toward the goals?
    4. How will the program's progress be measured to prove whether it achieved actual results?

    The Full Council will vote on the resolution on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

    [View in Council Newsroom]