The state has statewide strategic goals that are public, quantitative, published regularly, customer oriented, aligned, equity oriented, and publicly informed.
1. Strategic Goals
The Utah Governor and Lieutenant Governor released a plan for the new administration’s first 500 days, the One Utah Roadmap. The Roadmap includes dozens of action items within six strategic priorities: economic advancement, education innovation and investment, rural matters, health security, equality and opportunity, and streamlining and modernizing state government. As a dynamic plan, it is regularly assessed and refreshed as committees assigned to each strategic priority report to the governor on their progress. The 250-day update divides action items by those overseen by the Governor and those now overseen by agencies. The public may sign up for the governor’s #OneUtah Weekly Update email newsletters. Quantitative data related to goals on the One Utah Roadmap are tracked and will be published using a new tool managed by the state Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) in the Governor’s Office.
The state has achieved better outcomes through an enterprise performance management system that engages state leaders in using performance data to continuously improve results.
2. Performance Management
A 2021 Utah law requires agencies to set at least one performance measure for passed and approved budget requests of more than $10,000. These performance measures are reported to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB) and to the Office of Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA). Annually, agencies are required to report performance measures identified in the appropriations bills prior to October 1 to support preparation for the next budget cycle. Data pertaining to these performance measures will be published on performance.utah.gov and cobi.utah.gov prior to the 2022 Utah Legislative General Session.
Additionally, the law facilitated the creation of the Efficiency and Process Improvement Committee (EPIC), a joint committee by the legislative and executive branches to oversee agency performance and efficiency. EPIC will be composed of representatives from the Department of Government Operations, two other state agencies, the Chief Innovation Officer, GOPB, and LFA. GOPB staff supporting this effort also include a Director of Operational Efficiencies and Performance Measures Manager on its Management and Special Projects team.
The state uses innovation to achieve its priority goals and improve results for residents.
In 2021, the Utah Governor hired the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) to implement responsive solutions which keep government responsible and modernized aligned with the Governor’s One Utah Roadmap. For example, the CINO is leading the creation of the single sign-on access to digital government for Utah constituents and businesses per a 2020 Utah law, and transform Utah’s health care system via the new Utah Sustainable Health Collaborative, launched by the Governor in 2021, that will convene partners, community-based organizations, and providers to save costs, pilot innovations, and improve quality of care statewide.
Issue Areas: Health
5. Data Leadership & Governance
The state has senior leadership and governance structures with the mandate to equitably use data to improve results.
5. Data Leadership & Governance
The Utah State Data Coordinator is the architect and content manager for the state’s open data portal and Spending.Utah.gov. During 2020, the State’s Chief Data Officer in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget launched the Blueprint Solution, an interoperability initiative that exchanges service-level data between case managers who have clients in common, which serves nearly 500 clients shared across five state social services programs, including correctional, child and family services, and employment-seeking clients.
Additionally, a 2021 Utah law created the Government Operations Privacy Officer, the State Privacy Officer, and the Personal Privacy Oversight Commission to oversee and govern state data sharing, privacy, security, and technology across the state.
Issue Areas: Criminal Justice, Economic Mobility
6. Data Policies
The state has data policies that outline the principles, people, and activities that govern its data collection and use.
6. Data Policies
In March 2021, the Utah Office of Health Disparities (UDOH) within the health department published an initial set of uniform data standards for the collection of race and ethnicity information collected by, sponsored by, or reported to the department. Led by the Governor’s Senior Advisor for Equity and Opportunity, these standards adhere to federal guidance on data collection standards and include a brief toolkit to help policymakers and officials implement the standards. These standards have enhanced UDOH’s Vaccination by Race/Ethnicity Weekly Report and other efforts to support a more equitable recovery, such as the COVID-19 Multicultural Advisory Committee.
Issue Areas: COVID-19, Equity, Health
7. Data Infrastructure
The state has improved outcomes through technology infrastructure that allows it to efficiently collect, inventory, and share data.
Issue Areas: Child Welfare, Economic Mobility, Health
8. Data Use
The state has improved outcomes by combining and analyzing cross-agency data to inform policy, budget, or management decisions.
8. Data Use
The Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and Department of Health partnered with the University of Utah to create the Health & Economic Recovery Outreach (HERO) Project, which studied the two COVID-19 testing strategies in schools to resume and sustain in-person K-12 instruction. The “Test to Play” program required students to take COVID-19 tests to participate in extracurricular activities, and the “Test to Stay” is an optional program for schools with outbreaks. Combined with other prevention strategies, the testing strategies demonstrated promising results in mitigating the spread of the virus. The studies showed that they contributed to the opening and provision of in-person instruction –saving an estimated 109,752 in-person instruction student days last school year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized this approach as an emerging practice for other states seeking to return to in-person instruction.
The Utah Governor’s COVID-19 Multicultural Advisory Committee includes a racially and ethnically diverse cross-section of community advocates, nonprofits, state agencies, faith-based organizations, healthcare and industry partners, educators, and business leaders. The committee, in partnership with community-based partners, developed the “Striving Toward Equity: Utah’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Roadmap,” a plan for equitable vaccine distribution across the state that incorporated suggestions for accurate collection and reporting of racial and ethnic data. As the state implemented the plan, missing race/ethnicity data was reduced by 50%, and vaccination rates improved for some communities –the vaccination rate among Hispanic/Latino populations increased by 463% in the same time that the rate for the white population increased by 262%. The legislature has since committed additional funding to studying race and ethnic data disparities.
The Utah Office of the State Auditor’s Project KIDS is a specialized performance audit that integrates financial, operational, and performance data to improve data-driven decision-making in the state’s K-12 public education system. By incorporating financial, operational, and performance data sourced from three different databases, the framework enables stakeholders and the public to understand resources spent and student-level performance. The school spending map and other analytic resources allow policymakers to make data-informed spending decisions.
The Utah Data Research Center (UDRC) was created by a 2017 law to integrate data from the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah System of Technical Colleges, Utah State Board of Education, Utah Department of Health, and the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Together, these constitute the “P20W” pipeline. UDRC offers “data products” (such as academic-quality research, reports, and dashboards) and “data as a product” for external researchers. UDRC annually publishes a research agenda in priority order including the primary stakeholder and research description. It also maintains a public archive of previous years’ learning agendas.
The state has improved results by using evaluation, program inventories, and cost-benefit analysis.
12. Evaluation Use
Project KIDS is a special performance audit of the Office of the State Auditor that integrates financial, operational, and performance data to improve data-driven decision-making in Utah K-12 public education. Project KIDS follows resources down to the individual student level to understand how K-12 public education dollars are spent. It then analyzes course enrollment and demographic data to identify which students participate in particular classes and programs. Thus, individual resource profiles are created for all Utah students based on their unique course-taking patterns and demographics. Additionally, each student’s spending information is tied to their academic performance. District and charter school administrators are issued more detailed dashboards with privileged access to student-level data for their specific local education agency. By integrating student-level spending and performance, this methodology allows for an exploration of what resource allocations drive high student achievement. It also facilitates bottom-up, not top-down, student spending averages. Project KIDS recognizes that a top-down spending average fails to differentiate between various student needs and consequent spending. Thus, the individual student resource profiles are utilized to build up spending averages for each classroom, school, and local education agency. This framework enables stakeholders and the public to ask deeper questions about equitable and effective spending practices. They can use the school spending map and other analytic resources in weighing spending decisions.
Issue Areas: Education, Equity
13. Results-Focused Budget Process
The state has improved outcomes by prioritizing data and evidence in its budget process through guidance to agencies and engagement with the legislature.
13. Results-Focused Budget Process
A 2021 Utah law requires agencies to set at least one performance measure for passed and approved budget requests of more than $10,000. These performance measures were reported to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB) and to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA) within 60 days following the passage of the law. Annually, agencies are required to report performance measures identified in the appropriations bills prior to October 1 to support preparation for the next budget cycle. All measures and their data will be published prior to the 2022 General Legislative Session on performance.utah.gov.
Furthermore, in the FY22-23 budget guidance, GOPB recommended and encouraged agencies to develop measures, in partnership with GOPB and LFA, that are focused on resident and customer-focused outcomes, rather than outputs or activities. Additionally, for FY22-23, GOPB’s budget request form asks agencies to provide details and sources on any research or analysis that supports the evidence base for their request or the associated program.
The state has improved outcomes by using results-focused contracts for its publicly funded programs.
14. Results-Focused Contracting
The Utah Department of Human Services (DHS) revised its procurement policy in 2021 to require all contracts and agreements to include measurable outcomes, an explanation of how the outcomes will be measured, and an explanation of how the outcomes will be reported to DHS. Outcomes must be established following Results Based Accountability principles. As such, the department gathers a variety of performance data and frequently communicates with providers regarding outcomes.