COOPERATIVE EXTENSION IN THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0091

This presentation focuses on driving forces and philosophies in the current Age of Accountability and explores ideas of how to respond. The increased scrutiny faced by all public agencies is requiring that Cooperative Extension approach the issue of accountability a bit differently. We must articulate our objectives and values to specific clientele groups, the general public, and government officials. Hard questions are being asked about past and anticipated return on tax dollars invested in state and federal agencies. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 requires “performance based budgeting” for all federal agencies, including the USDA. Each federal agency must develop an action plan with well-defined objectives and anticipated impacts to justify the allocation of federal funds. The overriding theme is not how busy we are and how many activities we can report, but what has been the impact of our efforts.

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