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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 12: Biennial evaluations of programs and projects; standards, restriction; publication of summaries; annual report

Section 12. The secretary shall measure and evaluate the impact of all programs authorized by this chapter, their effectiveness in achieving stated goals in general, and in relation to their cost, their impact on related programs, and their structure and mechanisms for delivery of services, including, where appropriate, comparisons with appropriate control groups composed of persons who have not participated in such programs. Goals and standards for evaluation purposes shall be developed jointly by the department of elder affairs and statewide organizations representing the interests of the elderly. Evaluations shall be conducted by persons not immediately involved in the administration of the program or project evaluated. Subject to appropriation, evaluations shall be conducted every two years by an evaluator who does not supply service to the department and who is not in the regular employ of the commonwealth.

The secretary may not make grants or contracts under this chapter until he has developed and published general standards to be used by him in evaluating the programs and projects assisted under this chapter. Results of evaluations conducted pursuant to such standards shall be included in the annual reports required by this section.

In carrying out evaluations under this section, the secretary shall, whenever possible, arrange to obtain the opinions of program and project participants about the strengths and weaknesses of the programs and projects.

The secretary shall, on or before the second Wednesday in February in each year, publish summaries of the results of evaluative research and evaluation of program and project impact and effectiveness, the contents of which shall be available to the general court and the public. All studies, evaluations, proposals, and data produced or developed shall become the property of the commonwealth.

Such information as the secretary may deem necessary for purposes of the evaluations conducted under this section shall be made available to him, upon request, by the departments and agencies of the commonwealth.

The secretary shall expend such sums as may be appropriated therefor, not exceeding one per cent of the funds appropriated to the department for this chapter, to conduct program and project evaluations as required by this chapter.

Not later than one hundred and twenty days after the close of each fiscal year, the secretary shall prepare and submit to the governor and the general court a full and complete report on the activities carried out under this chapter. Such annual reports shall include statistical data reflecting services and activities provided individuals during the preceding fiscal year.