Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee


Attesting to the credibility and quality of JLARC's work as reviewed and evaluated by its national peers, the most recent awards received by JLARC from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) include:

2018 Excellence in Research Methods Award

Fees Assessed for Forest Fire Protection

JLARC was the only legislative office in the nation to receive the competitive 2018 Excellence in Research Methods award from NLPES for the study of Fees Assessed for Forest Fire Protection. In commending JLARC’s work, NLPES noted that this study, “illustrates the superior program evaluation work being provided to state legislatures.”

JLARC staff created a database of 2.8 million land parcels from 32 different sources to answer the study questions. This approach required use of data coding, statistical analysis, and geographic mapping.

Our methodology allowed us to:

  • Identify 20,135 parcels that do not pay the assessment but likely receive protection
  • Identify 5,455 parcels that were taxed as forest but do not pay the assessment
  • Determine that there was no spatial pattern of the non-paying parcels
  • Demonstrate the inconsistent application of the assessment across the state

This analysis was the first of its kind in the state. It supported our audit recommendation that the Department of Natural Resources develop procedures to consistently apply the assessment across the state.

2018 Notable Documents Award & 2018 Certificate of Impact

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Performance Measures and Population Estimates

JLARC staff received two awards for its study of Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Performance Measures and Population Estimates.

The report received a 2018 Notable Documents Award from the Legislative Research Librarians section of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The report was independently nominated for this award by the Washington State Library. The Legislative Research Librarians commended the report as “innovation in providing substantive information on contemporary issues of interest to legislatures.”

JLARC staff also received a 2018 Certificate of Impact from NLPES. The office was recognized for demonstrating a “significant impact on state government.”

The Legislative Auditor concluded that the state’s ability to evaluate program outcomes for homeless youth is hindered by limits on collecting personal data. Legal advice to state agencies indicated that unaccompanied minors could not give consent to provide personally identifiable information. Without this information, the state is not able to accurately monitor and evaluate the outcomes for youth it served.

In response to our report, the 2018 Legislature passed HB 1630, allowing minors age 13 or older to give consent for providers to collect their personally identifiable information for the state’s database. The bill received broad bipartisan support, and testimony to legislative committees referenced the JLARC study.


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National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

Legislative Auditor's Annual Report

JLARC Office Peer Review

NLPES has recognized JLARC with 26 awards since 2000. View previous awards here.