Senators Wayne Niederhauser (R-Sandy/Draper) and Ben McAdams (D-Salt Lake County) responded to questions on October 6, 2010, presented by Paul Mero, president of Sutherland Institute. Addressing the topic of “Government Performance and Accountability: Outcome-Based Budgeting for Utah,” the event was the first of several Sutherland Legislative Briefings to be conducted prior to the 2011 general legislative session. This Briefing was hosted by Sutherland’s Center for Limited Government.
Sen. Niederhauser, the majority whip in the Utah State Senate, has been at the forefront of this issue and has spoken widely on the subject. He said now is the time for government agencies to start setting outcome goals in advance as opposed to “firing shots and drawing the target afterward.”
“Outcome-based budgeting is not a new concept,” Sen. Niederhauser said. “This has been a concept that has been discussed for probably decades, but has been looked at as the future. But the future is now. The future is present. Technology is going to allow us to, instead of focusing on inputs into government, focus on the results.”
Sen. McAdams cautioned against vying for bigger or smaller government in a partisan manner, but recommended a focus on “right-sized” government. He added that outcome-based budgeting on the state level could be a boon to legislators in helping Utah government to reach that right size.
“I’m happy to see Sen. Niederhauser taking this where it goes,” Sen. McAdams said. “I think it’s the right decision and the right discussion. I look forward to carrying this discussion further throughout the legislative session.”
You can listen to the Internet broadcast of this legislative briefing on the Sutherland Ustream channel at www.ustream.tv/recorded/10033174. A higher-quality video of the event will be released on the Institute’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/sutherlandinstitute on Friday.