OMB/CBO Budget Scoring Guidance underscores benefits of rigorous program evaluations using cross-program integrated data

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy (http://coalition4evidence.org/) has released a summary and correspondence with Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), emphasizing the importance of considering cross-program effects in program evaluation. Referring to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 and special guidance from OMB, Mr. Lew noted that agencies must score the effects of program legislation on other programs that are linked by statute, and agencies have the option to score effects on other programs without a statutory link. He offered the example of “effects on Medicaid spending that are due to statutory linkages to changes in eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits.” These linked program effects must be well-documented through past program experience or rigorous experimental research. This Act, guidance, and correspondence from Mr. Lew draw attention to the use of integrated data systems as a reliable and cost-effective way to produce cross-program data in rigorous evaluations of program effects.

The summary and correspondence from Mr. Lew is available at the following link:

http://www.aisp.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/OMB-CBO-budget-scoring-for-Dec-2011-update1.pdf