Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2010

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2010

MassGOALS - Governor Patrick's Performance Management Initiative

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Governor Patrick    FY2010 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
    Policy Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


MassGOALS: Governor Patrick’s Performance Management Initiative

In the challenging fiscal environment Massachusetts faces, the Patrick-Murray Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth functions as efficiently and effectively as possible, delivering the high-quality services that individuals and communities expect and deserve.  Soon after taking office in early 2007, Governor Patrick charged his team with developing and implementing a statewide performance management system to carry out his agenda.  MassGOALS – Massachusetts Government Outcomes to Achieve Long-Term Success – was launched at a meeting of the Governor’s Cabinet in December 2007.

MassGOALS is one of the key internal management tools that Governor Patrick uses to align operations and resources across state government to achieve better results for the people of the Commonwealth.  Through the MassGOALS framework, the Governor receives quarterly data-based reports about the performance of his executive departments; he uses these performance reports as the basis for working sessions with members of his Cabinet and senior leadership team.  These reports and working sessions help the Governor hold his Administration accountable for achieving key results, and allow them to identify areas where strategies and investments are working and where additional attention and resources are needed.

MassGOALS Result Areas

The first operational element of MassGOALS has been to define the results for which performance will be evaluated.  MassGOALS is organized around nine citizen-focused result areas, each of which is influenced by the policies and activities of numerous state agencies.  MassGOALS recognizes, and actively encourages, cross-agency collaboration to achieve these results.  Each Cabinet-level Secretariat contributes to one or more of the nine result areas; the nine result areas are defined below, along with information about which executive departments are accountable for performance in each area.

Affordable Housing: “All residents have full and fair access to desirable, affordable housing near the places they work, shop, play, and come together as a community.”

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (especially the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation)

Civic Engagement: “Citizens are active participants in government and in their communities.”

The Governor’s Office and all of the Executive Offices

Clean Energy & Environment: “The Commonwealth’s environment is conserved in a robust and sustainable economy through natural resource management and the promotion of energy efficiency and clean energy.”

Executive Office for Energy and Environmental Affairs; Executive Office for Administration and Finance (especially the Division of Capital Asset Management)

Effective Government: “Constituents trust that their leaders are working together and accountable for delivering high-quality, efficient government services that people want.”

Executive Office for Administration and Finance and all of the Executive Offices

Efficient Transportation & Mobility: “People and goods move reliably, conveniently, and safely throughout the Commonwealth.”

Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works

Job Creation & Economic Growth: “Massachusetts enjoys a robust business climate, with a workforce well-prepared to take advantage of employment opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.”

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; Executive Office of Health and Human Services; Executive Office of Education

Quality, Affordable Health Care for All: “Citizens enjoy greater wellness and improved health and have access to quality, affordable health care.”

Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Safe Communities: People feel safe where they live, work, learn and play.

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works; Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (especially the Division of Occupational Safety); Executive Office of Health and Human Services (especially the Department of Children and Families)

World-Class Education: “The Commonwealth’s youth and adults have access to the education they need in order to be successful students, workers and members of society.”

Executive Office of Education (including the Departments of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education)

MassGOALS Performance Measures and Reports

MassGOALS tracks roughly 10 to 20 different performance measures in each of the nine result areas, representing a range of factors that together contribute to the achievement of the overall result.  No single performance measure is able to fully answer the key question, “How well is Massachusetts doing in achieving this key result,” and even a subset of 10 to 20 measures is unable to describe in full everything that state government is doing to improve performance in each area.  Rather, the MassGOALS measures for each result are meant to provide the Governor and his leadership team with a high-level view of progress toward each result, touching on major policy initiatives and areas of interest to the general public.  (Many Secretariats and agencies have implemented performance management systems for their own operations, which are able to track a wider range of activities and outcomes at a more granular level.)  MassGOALS measures, therefore, focus most often on outcomes – the end result experienced by individuals and communities – rather than inputs and outputs.  For example, MassGOALS measures do not necessarily track how many clients participate in a counseling program or how many applications are received for an infrastructure grant, but rather focus on the degree of change or improvement a client experienced as a result of having been in the counseling program or on the improvement in community conditions that result from receiving the grant.

Examples of MassGOALS performance measures for each result area include:


Selected Performance Measures

Affordable Housing

  • Production and preservation of affordable units
  • Condition of state public housing stock
  • Outcomes of client participation in foreclosure counseling programs
  • Civic Engagement

  • Participation in public meetings and hearings
  • Communities and individuals helped by Commonwealth Corps members
  • Citizen access to information, particularly online and in other forms of new media
  • Clean Energy & Environment

  • Green building projects (new construction and renovation) at state facilities
  • Generation of renewable and alternative energy
  • Public satisfaction with state parks and recreational facilities
  • Acres and type of land protected
  • Attainment of air and water quality standards
  • Effective Government

  • Customer service wait times
  • Application or payment processing speed
  • Diversity/representativeness of state workforce
  • Participation in municipal partnership programs
  • Efficient Transportation & Mobility

  • Public transit ridership on MBTA and RTAs
  • Pavement and bridge conditions
  • On-time and on-budget project delivery
  • Job Creation & Economic Growth

  • Employment levels and unemployment rates
  • Job creation and retention
  • Business zoning/permitting promptness
  • Job placement for human services clients
  • Quality, Affordable Health Care for All

  • Insurance coverage rates
  • Health care quality (e.g., addressing preventable hospitalizations)
  • Wellness indicators (e.g., smoking and obesity rates)
  • Safe Communities

  • Workplace safety
  • Recurrence rate of child abuse/neglect
  • Highway accident clearance
  • Forensic processing efficiency
  • World-Class Education

  • Availability of licensed early education programs
  • Student proficiency and standardized test performance
  • Teachers with subject-matter qualifications
  • Public college and university enrollments and degree conferrals
  • Performance data for each MassGOALS measure are collected and analyzed quarterly, although for certain measures new data may only be available semi-annually or annually (e.g., high school graduation rates can not be measured quarterly).  Relevant state agencies and Secretariats then submit their performance data for the preparation of a comprehensive performance report for the Governor on each result area.  For each measure, the most recent performance data is compared to benchmarks and performance targets where appropriate and available, and each measure is also accompanied by a brief narrative analysis that helps explain the data presented.  The reports also include for each measure a discussion of recent activities and their impacts on performance, an analysis of the major barriers to better performance and identification of opportunities for improvement, and suggested action items for the Governor and others to take to improve future performance.  MassGOALS performance reports are prepared every quarter for each of the nine result areas and are read by the Governor, the Secretary of Administration and Finance, and the Cabinet Secretaries and agency heads connected to each result area.

    MassGOALS Working Sessions & Follow-Up

    Using the reports described above as the basis for discussion, the Governor chairs quarterly MassGOALS working sessions dedicated to each of the result areas.  The Governor uses these regular internal reviews meetings to concentrate on a handful of the measures in the MassGOALS report and have in-depth discussion with members of his Cabinet about issues specific to improved performance.  MassGOALS working sessions are not used as crisis-management meetings, “show and tell” presentations, or “gotcha” sessions.  The MassGOALS working sessions are intended to foster a culture of learning and improvement, of informed decision-making, of cross-agency collaboration and of accountability for achieving results.

    To reinforce the importance of improvement and accountability, an important feature of the MassGOALS system is the “task list.” The task list is a mechanism for keeping track of commitments and assignments that arise from the MassGOALS working sessions.  When a working session participant suggests what actions or changes are required to improve performance, someone is immediately assigned to follow up on those suggestions and develop a recommendation.  Everyone involved in the working sessions takes responsibility for executing the tasks assigned to them, including the Governor.  Tasks can range from the large (drafting legislation or regulations) to the small (making a phone call or hosting a meeting).  The task list is included in every MassGOALS report, with an update on the status of each item, and follow-up on tasks from previous meetings is the first item on every working session agenda.  The task list is the key mechanism for ensuring that discussion leads to action, and that action leads to results.

    MassGOALS Operations

    The MassGOALS system is thoroughly supported at every level to ensure that it continues to function as a useful tool for actively managing the Administration’s performance.

    The Governor is the primary leader and user of the MassGOALS system and is the key decision-maker for all major elements of the system’s design and operation.  The MassGOALS result areas and measures reflect the Administration’s policy priorities, and the Governor uses the quarterly performance reports and working sessions to manage the departments that report to him and hold his senior officials accountable for the results their agencies deliver.

    The Secretary of Administration and Finance is the executive sponsor of MassGOALS; the system is staffed and supported in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.  The Secretary, Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary for Budget review all MassGOALS reports and participate in all MassGOALS working sessions, as well as providing oversight for the operational elements of the system.  A MassGOALS project manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the MassGOALS system, including the preparation of reports and working session materials, and the coordination of the task list of follow-up items.

    Each of the Cabinet-level Secretariats designates an existing staff member to serve as the MassGOALS liaison for their office, with responsibility for coordinating the collection and analysis of data and narrative performance information.  These liaisons serve, along with representatives of the Governor’s Office and staff from the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, on the MassGOALS steering committee, which meets periodically to advise the project manager on the direction and continued implementation of the MassGOALS system.

    Governor’s Budget Recommendations Policy Briefs

    The policy briefs that follow each summarize a policy initiative being advanced in the Governor’s budget recommendation.  Consistent with the Governor’s use of the MassGOALS system as a framework for managing and measuring policy, the approximately thirty policy briefs are organized by MassGOALS result area, beginning with World-Class Education.

    Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance · Rooms 373 & 272 · State House
    For more information contact:
    Lonsdale Koester (

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