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:

2021 Certificate of Impact Award

Alternative Public Works Contracting Procedures Sunset Review

JLARC staff received the 2021 Impact Award from NLPES for the sunset review of the Alternative Public Works Contracting Procedures. NLPES recognized the office for demonstrating significant impacts from perspectives of both the Legislature and the audited agency.

JLARC’s study found that alternative contracting methods are widely used. Stakeholders reported a number of potential advantages to using alternative contracting methods, including fewer conflicts and stronger relationships between owners, contractors, and architects. The study also found that the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB) engaged stakeholders, conducted studies, recommended policy changes to the Legislature, developed best practices guidelines, and appointed experienced members to the Project Review Committee (PRC), which makes decisions on public bodies' applications to use certain alternative methods. The PR​C maintained a consistent application review process across the state. JLARC’s study noted that there have been gaps in data collection, and some of the statutory reporting requirements may not align with CPARB's primary duties or interests.

During the 2021 Legislative session, the Legislature reauthorized the alternative public works contracting procedures statute, as recommended by the Legislative Auditor. The statute is subject to another sunset review in 2030. In response to the Legislative Auditor’s recommendation, CPARB proposed modifications to its data collection procedures. This action will allow more flexibility for the organization to collect data it needs to effectively advise the Legislature on policy considerations.​

2020 NLPES Excellence in Research Methods Award

Opportunity Scholarship and Opportunity Expansion Programs

JLARC was one of two offices in the nation to receive the competitive Excellence in Research Methods Award from NLPES for its study of Opportunity Scholarship and Opportunity Expansion Programs. The award recognized the "exceptional breadth, depth and scope of fieldwork" and the study's "technical difficulty and sophistication."

JLARC staff used a multi-method approach to collect data:

  • Interviews with financial aid professionals across Washington state suggested that more aid from one source did not necessarily equal more aid overall.
  • We identified key evaluation metrics and outcomes through a literature review.
  • We collected K-12 education data, public and private higher education class and financial data, and employment data from multiple state agencies and higher education institutions.

JLARC staff developed a predictive model using machine learning to determine which peer students are pursuing a STEM or health care degree, which allowed JLARC to compare Opportunity Scholars to other students who met the eligibility requirements but did not receive a scholarship.

This analysis allowed JLARC to:

  • Identify 29,848 students who met the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) eligibility requirements but did not receive a scholarship.
  • Report that compared to their peers, Opportunity Scholars have lower out of pocket costs and fewer student loans.
  • Provide initial results suggesting that Opportunity Scholars are more like to graduate and earn middle-income wages than their peers.

We concluded that WSOS was meeting its legislative intent and enabled us to make recommendations to improve the information available to the Legislature in the future.


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National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

Legislative Auditor's Annual Report

JLARC Office Peer Review

NLPES has recognized JLARC with 30 awards since 2000. View previous awards here.