Putting a Price on Performance: A Demonstration Study of Outcome-Based Scrutiny


The Mercatus Center has developed a 7-step analytical framework called "Outcome-Based Scrutiny" to assist Congress in its responsibility of setting budget priorities and encouraging performance improvements in federal agencies. The purpose of Outcome-Based Scrutiny is to identify how effectively various federal programs accomplish their intended results. By doing this, the process also explores whether reallocation of resources among programs could produce greater public benefits at lower cost.

This demonstration study applies Outcome-Based Scrutiny to vocational programs serving a wide variety of participants, including veterans and students, and the disabled. Data are drawn from publicly available sources, including federal agencies' GPRA strategic plans, Annual Performance Reports for Fiscal Year 1999, agency web sites, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and the Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Years 1998 and 1999.

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