WASHINGTON (AP) – Utah, Virginia and Washington state have the most effective state governments in the country, according to a scorecard released Monday by The Pew Center on the States.

The center ranked the states based on how well they manage their budgets, staffs, infrastructure and information.

The states with the highest scores have made management improvement and innovation a priority, the report said.

Washington, for example, holds public meetings led by the governor to monitor how its programs are working, while Utah has a sophisticated financial tracking system that provides up-to-the-minute data. Virginia offers its employees incentives for meeting goals and improving service.

New Hampshire – which got the lowest score – is not closely monitoring its costs and performance, Pew said.

Maine was given an overall grade of “C.” “Maine has an on-again, off-again relationship with performance measurement that dates back to the early 1990s,” the report said. “It recently entered an ‘off-again’ phase.”

The “Grading the States” report card was the fourth in a series of assessments issued by Pew’s Government Performance Project and Governing Magazine. The last was released in 2005.

The rankings are based on reviews by a panel of state government experts.

States were graded on their recruitment and retention of qualified employees, their use of information and technology, management of budgets and purchasing systems, and planning for improvements to roads, bridges and other core infrastructure.

Susan Urahn, managing director of The Pew Center on the States, said the rankings are intended to give states objective information about how they can improve their performance.


On the Web: The report is available at www.pewcenteronthestates.org/gpp.

AP-ES-03-03-08 1238EST

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.