- Report Published -
|Interim Report of the Council on Virginia's Future|
|Council on Virginia's Future|
|[This report was modifed and reposted on 1/26/05] |
This report also includes the reporting requirement of § 2.2-2686.
Genesis of the Council on Virginia’s Future
Through the passage of House Bill 2097, the General Assembly established the Council on Virginia’s Future (the Council) in July 2003 to “…advise the Governor and the General Assembly on the implementation of the Roadmap for Virginia's Future process,” a planning process described in the legislation as comprising some or all of the following steps:
● “…developing a set of guiding principles that are reflective of public sentiment and relevant to critical decision-making,
● establishing a long-term vision for the Commonwealth,
● conducting a situation analysis of core state service categories,
● setting long-term objectives,
● instituting a planning and performance management system consisting of strategic planning, performance measurement, program evaluation and performance budgeting, and
● performing plan adjustments based on public input and evaluation of the results of the Roadmap.”
The legislation that created the Council was the synthesis of work done by several individuals and groups (e.g., the Coalition for Virginia’s Future, the General Assembly, Governor Mark R. Warner and the Governor’s Commission on Efficiency and Effectiveness) who shared the common aim of driving accountability and improvement within government. The intent of the legislation was to ensure that the Commonwealth would have a long-term direction and clear priorities that would enhance Virginia’s potential for a successful future.
The Council’s purpose is to create a vision of Virginia’s future and a system for state government that aligns with and supports achievement of the vision. In essence, the Council provides the long-term policy framework for governing effectively in the 21st century.
The Council is responsible for designing the "Roadmap for Virginia’s Future". The purpose of the "Roadmap" is to establish a planning and accountability process that is capable of creating and sustaining a consistent focus, throughout all functions and locations of state government, on those things most vital to Virginia’s future.
The Council’s specific responsibilities include:
● Developing and communicating a vision and set of objectives that will have relevance and significance well into the next decade.
● Through research, forums and dialogue, creating a deeper understanding of issues affecting Virginia’s future.
● Clearly articulating the state’s role in achieving the vision and objectives.
● Setting priorities and establishing performance benchmarks.
● Ensuring accountability by measuring progress, i.e., by assessing the Commonwealth’s progress in achieving the vision and objectives.
● Providing advice on creating a performance leadership system to implement the "Roadmap".
● Establishing a process to evaluate the effectiveness of Virginia’s performance leadership system to ensure it remains a vital, valued and effective means for managing government performance.
Evolution of the Roadmap for Virginia’s Future
Since its inception, the Council, working in collaboration with the executive branch, has made steady progress in developing and implementing the "Roadmap". A brief recap of Council and "Roadmap" activities that occurred in 2003 and 2004 follows, along with a preview of the Council’s plans for 2005.
2003 Recap: In 2003, the Council’s aim was to begin the development of Virginia’s vision, long-term objectives and agency strategic plans. The Council established workgroups with representation from the executive and legislative branches of government and private industry. There was a great deal of discussion in the workgroups about how to determine government’s role in achieving the vision and how to set up an effective accountability system in Virginia. The primary outcomes of the work done by the Council and its workgroups in 2003 include:
● Drafting a vision for Virginia’s future (refer to page 15).
● Establishing four priorities within the vision: elevating levels of education, strengthening the economy, becoming the best-managed state and having an informed/engaged citizenry.
● Studying the priorities and four other areas related to Virginia’s quality of life: health, public safety, transportation, and the preservation of natural, cultural and historic resources.
● Initiating the development of a set of preliminary, overall metrics.
2004 Recap: In 2004, the Council came to realize that existing processes for planning, performance measurement and continuous improvement were inconsistent, varied in their sophistication and cumbersome. As a result, we started to build an agency-level foundation for implementing the Roadmap. The first step was the development of a new strategic planning and budgeting model, including a new structure cataloguing various services in state agencies (i.e., a new service structure). In addition, we made progress in developing a system for continuous improvement that is focused on enhancing efficiency and effectiveness and establishing a culture of excellence in state government.
Although the proceedings of the Council were delayed due to the length of the 2004 General Assembly session, much was accomplished, including:
● Refining the vision for Virginia’s future that was drafted in 2003.
● Developing long-term objectives (refer to page 15).
● Establishing an organization structure to carry out the work.
● Obtaining funding to support the work.
● Beginning the development of the Council’s scorecard.
● Initiating communications about the Council and its work with the business community.
2005 Plans: In 2005, the Council will build the commitment and positive energy that are needed to create performance breakthroughs. We will continue to study issues facing Virginia to ensure we truly understand what it will take to do a better job of governing in the 21st century. In addition, we will publish a scorecard of performance indicators to tell the story of how Virginia is performing today and, more importantly, to challenge our thinking, inspire our hearts and create a compelling need for change. We look forward to taking you along on the next phase of our journey.