Improving Decisionmaking About Priorities in State Government.

by Daniel J. Alesch

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Methods for improving state government processes for allotting priorities to its functions. Societal changes are increasingly requiring more cooperation among state agencies, but such interaction is offset by continued compartmentalization, autonomy, and ineffective personnel policies. If these problems are to be overcome, a problem-opportunity dimension must be added to state government decisionmaking that cuts across agency lines to both eliminate undesirable conditions and strive for higher levels of attainment. This process, priority-making, would entail (1) defining the agency-spanning problems; (2) ranking the problems into priorities; (3) analyzing priorities to determine the required mix of agency activities; (4) defining the participant agency roles; and (5) allocating resources. In the latter, an agency's budget and activities structure would become the sum of its role in solving the problems assigned to it. Before priority-making can be initiated, however, the entire governmental structure must be strengthened and reformed to meet its challenges. 14 pp.

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