(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department:
(a) Ensure that information be provided to decisionmakers in a timely manner so that resources are allocated to programs of the department which achieve desired performance levels.
(b) Provide information about the cost of such programs and their differential effectiveness so that the quality of such programs can be compared and improvements made continually.
(c) Provide information to aid in developing related policy issues and concerns.
(d) Provide information to the public about the effectiveness of such programs in meeting established goals and objectives.
(e) Provide a basis for a system of accountability so that each client is afforded the best programs to meet his or her needs.
(f) Improve service delivery to clients.
(g) Modify or eliminate activities that are not effective.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Client” means any person who is being provided treatment or services by the department or by a provider under contract with the department.
(b) “Program component” means an aggregation of generally related objectives which, because of their special character, related workload, and interrelated output, can logically be considered an entity for purposes of organization, management, accounting, reporting, and budgeting.
(c) “Program effectiveness” means the ability of the program to achieve desired client outcomes, goals, and objectives.
(3) The department shall annually collect and report cost data for every program operated or contracted by the department. The cost data shall conform to a format approved by the department and the Legislature. Uniform cost data shall be reported and collected for state-operated and contracted programs so that comparisons can be made among programs. The department shall ensure that there is accurate cost accounting for state-operated services including market-equivalent rent and other shared cost. The cost of the educational program provided to a residential facility shall be reported and included in the cost of a program. The department shall submit an annual cost report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of each house of the Legislature, the appropriate substantive and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature, and the Governor, no later than December 1 of each year. Cost-benefit analysis for educational programs will be developed and implemented in collaboration with and in cooperation with the Department of Education, local providers, and local school districts. Cost data for the report shall include data collected by the Department of Education for the purposes of preparing the annual report required by s. 1003.52(19).
(4)(a) The department, in consultation with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and contract service providers, shall develop a cost-effectiveness model and apply the model to each commitment program. Program recidivism rates shall be a component of the model. The cost-effectiveness model shall compare program costs to client outcomes and program outputs. It is the intent of the Legislature that continual development efforts take place to improve the validity and reliability of the cost-effectiveness model.
(b) The department shall rank commitment programs based on the cost-effectiveness model and shall submit a report to the appropriate substantive and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature by December 31 of each year.
(c) Based on reports of the department on client outcomes and program outputs and on the department’s most recent cost-effectiveness rankings, the department may terminate a program operated by the department or a provider if the program has failed to achieve a minimum threshold of program effectiveness. This paragraph does not preclude the department from terminating a contract as provided under this section or as otherwise provided by law or contract, and does not limit the department’s authority to enter into or terminate a contract.
(d) In collaboration with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, and contract service providers, the department shall develop a work plan to refine the cost-effectiveness model so that the model is consistent with the performance-based program budgeting measures approved by the Legislature to the extent the department deems appropriate. The department shall notify the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability of any meetings to refine the model.
(e) Contingent upon specific appropriation, the department, in consultation with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, and contract service providers, shall:
1. Construct a profile of each commitment program that uses the results of the quality assurance report required by this section, the cost-effectiveness report required in this subsection, and other reports available to the department.
2. Target, for a more comprehensive evaluation, any commitment program that has achieved consistently high, low, or disparate ratings in the reports required under subparagraph 1.
3. Identify the essential factors that contribute to the high, low, or disparate program ratings.
4. Use the results of these evaluations in developing or refining juvenile justice programs or program models, client outcomes and program outputs, provider contracts, quality assurance standards, and the cost-effectiveness model.
(5) The department shall:
(a) Establish a comprehensive quality assurance system for each program operated by the department or operated by a provider under contract with the department. Each contract entered into by the department must provide for quality assurance.
(b) Provide operational definitions of and criteria for quality assurance for each specific program component.
(c) Establish quality assurance goals and objectives for each specific program component.
(d) Establish the information and specific data elements required for the quality assurance program.
(e) Develop a quality assurance manual of specific, standardized terminology and procedures to be followed by each program.
(f) Evaluate each program operated by the department or a provider under a contract with the department and establish minimum thresholds for each program component. If a provider fails to meet the established minimum thresholds, such failure shall cause the department to cancel the provider’s contract unless the provider achieves compliance with minimum thresholds within 6 months or unless there are documented extenuating circumstances. In addition, the department may not contract with the same provider for the canceled service for a period of 12 months. If a department-operated program fails to meet the established minimum thresholds, the department must take necessary and sufficient steps to ensure and document program changes to achieve compliance with the established minimum thresholds. If the department-operated program fails to achieve compliance with the established minimum thresholds within 6 months and if there are no documented extenuating circumstances, the department must notify the Executive Office of the Governor and the Legislature of the corrective action taken. Appropriate corrective action may include, but is not limited to:
1. Contracting out for the services provided in the program;
2. Initiating appropriate disciplinary action against all employees whose conduct or performance is deemed to have materially contributed to the program’s failure to meet established minimum thresholds;
3. Redesigning the program; or
4. Realigning the program.
The department shall submit an annual report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of each house of the Legislature, the appropriate substantive and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature, and the Governor, no later than February 1 of each year. The annual report must contain, at a minimum, for each specific program component: a comprehensive description of the population served by the program; a specific description of the services provided by the program; cost; a comparison of expenditures to federal and state funding; immediate and long-range concerns; and recommendations to maintain, expand, improve, modify, or eliminate each program component so that changes in services lead to enhancement in program quality. The department shall ensure the reliability and validity of the information contained in the report.
(6) The department shall collect and analyze available statistical data for the purpose of ongoing evaluation of all programs. The department shall provide the Legislature with necessary information and reports to enable the Legislature to make informed decisions regarding the effectiveness of, and any needed changes in, services, programs, policies, and laws.