TURNKEY PUBLIC MANAGEMENT TOOLKITS--Helping managers and consultants assess and improve the delivery of programs and services in the public sector.
TURNKEY PUBLIC MANAGEMENT TOOLKITS--Helping managers and consultants assess and improve the delivery of programs and services in the public sector.
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Baseline Assessment/ Spending Review

Review the scope of activities and level of resources of a government agency and its programs and services. 

What is a baseline assessment 

A baseline assessment is often carried out in a time of crisis or challenge.  Program outcomes may not be meeting stakeholder expectations, the strategic objectives of the organization may no longer be relevant, resource savings are required, additional resources are required to meet new client needs or for new activities, or existing resources need to be reallocated to new higher priority areas.  Alternatively, a review may be deemed necessary as part of a broader organization or government-wide review.

The purpose of a baseline assessment (depending on the focus, sometimes referred to as a spending review, strategic review, public expenditure review, program review, resource review or operational review) is typically to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the programs, resources and activities of a government agency to align resources with the agency’s mandate and/or legislative or regulatory requirements, deliver on key priorities and achieve expected results and outcomes.

  • Identify opportunities to reallocate resources to higher priority strategic objectives or programs, as well as options for greater efficiency or cost reduction.  

A baseline assessment may be carried out for a single program or function (e.g., HR, finance, IT) or for a number of programs and functions across an agency, in which case the baseline assessment templates enable a standardized approach to assessing the resources of each program and function.

Baseline assessment/ spending review templates 

  • A generic baseline assessment template that can be used to assess any program or function.

  • Function baseline assessment templates (15 in total) to assess the delivery and level of resources for specific government functions.  The templates include detailed content specific to each function and all follow the same format.  Select a template to preview a high level summary of the content for each function. 

  • A baseline assessment guide provides a detailed methodology and work plan, including a checklist and description of the key elements of a baseline assessment.  

Upon purchase, you will receive an email with a link to download the full template in a PowerPoint editable format as well as the baseline assessment guide in a Word editable format.

Spending review/public expenditure management checklist

One does not make friends doing baseline assessments or expenditure reviews.  The conclusions are inevitably controversial and will be challenged.  The assessments are complex as they must incorporate both strategic top-down and detailed bottom-up analysis.  Typical questions are:

  • Are the strategies and priorities aligned with government-wide priorities?
  • Do stakeholders and clients have major issues or concerns?
  • Are risk mitigation measures in place adequate?
  • Are resources aligned with the size of the clientele or sector supported?
  • Is workload increasing, decreasing or stable? What are the workload drivers?
  • Are people resources and expenditures sufficient to carry out the activities?
  • What process improvements are possible?
  • Would other delivery models be more cost-effective?
  • How does efficiency compare with targets and external benchmarks?
  • Are there gaps in the skills and competencies required?
  • Do tools and systems reflect best practices?
  • How is the agency performing?
  • What are there opportunities for improvement and/or cost-efficiencies?
  • What are the resource savings or gaps compared to existing resource levels?