The NSAA Excellence in Accountability Awards are given to recognize outstanding audit efforts
The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today announces that Project KIDS received the National State Auditors Association’s (NSAA) 2022 Excellence in Accountability Award for Special Projects. Project KIDS is a special, in-depth performance audit of public education in Utah that integrates financial, operational, and performance data to create interactive visualizations. Project KIDS identifies student-level spending and performance to allow stakeholders to explore what resource allocations drive improved student achievement. Interactive dashboards are made available to authorized local education agency (LEA) administrators and statewide visualizations are available on the State Auditor’s website: auditor.utah.gov/kids.
The NSAA Excellence in Accountability Awards are given to recognize outstanding performance audits, forensic reports, and special projects performed by auditor offices across the nation. Audits are evaluated based on criteria related to the significance of their impact and usefulness, the uniqueness of the objective or subject matter and the level of innovation in process, presentation, and outcome.
The impact of Project KIDS continues to proliferate. The public interactive dashboards have encouraged higher quality data from participating entities. The rich data resource compiled by Project KIDS has been used to advance research and evaluation efforts, has provided state-level officials with opportunities to better focus resource use, and has allowed LEA administrators to better understand their school operations and to redirect resources to better align spending with their strategic objectives.
State Auditor John Dougall said, “The vision for Project KIDS has been to provide educators, taxpayers, and decision makers with insights so they can determine how effectively the state’s education funding has been used in preparing the state’s children to thrive in the 21st century. This award from the National State Auditors Association recognizes both the significance of analyzing education resource allocation as well as the benefits of interactive tools built to help decision-makers in their oversight.