What We Do
The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting provides the Governor with timely and complete information and recommendations necessary to make sound public policy and budget decisions. Our mission is to foster the responsible use of state resources through effective and efficient planning, budgeting, and evaluation of state programs in a manner that is performance and outcome-focused.
This role is carried out through nine core functions:
- Developing reliable revenue estimates;
- Developing a defensible budget within revenue constraints;
- Analyzing the management, operations, and fiscal needs of executive branch agencies;
- Advocating for the Governor’s priorities and developing solutions to achieve his objectives;
- Tracking legislation and monitoring the legislative budget process;
- Providing accurate and concise public information;
- Driving a culture of operational excellence and innovation in government through strategic planning and performance management;
- Fostering leadership in the executive branch to sustain the delivery of government services in a customer-focused manner;
- Ensuring the best return on investment for state programs through research, evaluation, and measurable outcomes.
OSPB is a leader in state fiscal policy and budget management that drives executive branch success.
The Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) was created in Section 24-37-102, C.R.S. and its responsibilities are enumerated in Section 24-37-302, C.R.S. (Link to Colorado Revised Statutes)
Colorado Budget Process
In Colorado, the Governor's Office initiates the annual budget process through its submission of the Governor’s November executive budget request to the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly. The November 1 executive request seeks funding for the upcoming fiscal year which begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Supplemental budget requests affecting current fiscal year spending and amendments to the November request are submitted in January.
The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) is the permanent fiscal and budget review agency that proposes the annual appropriations bill, known as the Long Bill. The Long Bill is ultimately approved by the General Assembly during the legislative session and the authorization for spending (“appropriations”) rests with the General Assembly.
The process above occurs for each fiscal year. Therefore, different stages of the process for adjacent fiscal years overlap. For example, the General Assembly passes supplementals for the current year at the same time they are working to set the Long Bill for the next fiscal year.
The OSPB budget team serves primarily to provide the Governor and the Budget Director (OSPB director) with timely and accurate information, analysis, and recommendations on the annual state budget. Budget staff also analyze the management, operations, and fiscal needs of executive branch agencies. The team works directly with Departments in the executive branch, providing fiscal and technical consulting in preparation of the general appropriations operating budget and the capital construction and controlled maintenance budget of each department. Further, the budget team develops proposals for new legislation, participates in special projects, tracks legislation, monitors the legislative budget process, and monitors budget implementation across the executive branch.
Performance Budgeting (PB) Team
The Performance Budgeting (PB) team supports the Performance Budgeting module of the State’s financial system. PB is the budgeting system used to create and manage department budgets. The system provides financial reports that allow staff and management to make informed decisions based on available data, to streamline the budget process, and to integrate the budget development and monitoring processes.
Economic & Revenue Forecasting: The OSPB economics team serves primarily to provide the Governor and the Budget Director (OSPB director) with timely and accurate information and analysis relating to the economy and State fiscal conditions, focusing on their implications to the State Budget. The economics team also provides research and analysis on tax and fiscal policy issues, and tracks legislation related to these issues.
Performance Management and Operations
Performance Management & Operations: The Performance Management & Operations Team works with all state agencies to make government more efficient and effective. In accordance with the 2011 SMART Act, the team works with departments to create and track key performance metrics reflected in annual performance plans. The team’s annual Performance Management Academy supports the development of a sustainable customer-focused culture that drives operational excellence. It supports Lean process improvement across Colorado state government by providing Lean resources to help agencies foster a culture of continuous improvement. The team also tracks key metrics for the Governor’s Dashboard & Priorities to fulfill the vision of a truly Healthy Colorado. All of these initiatives support the Governor’s goal of improving the customer experience.
Research & Evidence Based Policy Initiatives
Research & Evidence Based Policy (REP) team focuses on advancing the use of research, evidence, implementation science and cost-benefit analysis in state decision-making processes. The team is focused on helping promote strategies that are proven to work, while at the same time encouraging innovative new approaches paired with evaluation. The team also serves as a connector to state, local and national partners on resources in this field.
The REP team oversees four main projects for the Governor's Office, including Results First, Pay for Success, the Marijuana Implementation and Evaluation Grant and the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab (in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office). The team also coordinates the Evidence-Based Policy Collaborative, which is a network of state and national professionals in the field.
Pay for Success
Pay for Success: As a follow-up to Pay For Success legislation in 2015, OSPB conducted a feasibility study exploring the viability of Pay For Success projects to improve outcomes for Colorado underserved youth. Under a Pay for Success contract, a state or local government commits to paying for a service based on outcomes and impact, measured rigorously by an independent evaluator. For this project, OSPB is focused in particular on Colorado youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Key outcomes of focus include reduced juvenile justice involvement, improved educational and behavioral health, and improved legal permanency and placement stability. OSPB released a “Call for Innovation” associated with this project in January 2017, which drew 61 proposals from nonprofits, providers, local governments, universities and other stakeholders across Colorado. OSPB is currently working with finalists selected through the Call for Innovation to fund, structure and launch three Pay for Success pilot projects in 2018.