Once a project is approved by the PEER Committee and assigned staff, appropriate agency personnel are contacted and an entrance conference is scheduled. At the entrance conference, the purpose of the project is discussed, the project team is introduced, and logistical questions are discussed (e.g., space needs). At this time agency personnel provide key contact information to the project team. Agency personnel are also free to discuss any relevant issues or concerns (e.g., scheduling issues).
During this phase, the project team collects information, observes activities, reviews and tests agency data or processes, and evaluates the results of the various analyses. Often the project team can retrieve data from files and computer records with minimal assistance from agency staff. In other cases, field work may involve observing staff while on the job, interviewing staff, and other techniques that require agency time.
Once fieldwork is completed, the project team prepares an exposure draft of the report. A limited number of agency personnel receive a copy of the exposure draft which is confidential and not to be copied.
After agency personnel have reviewed the exposure draft, an exit conference is typically conducted between the agency and the PEER project team. The purpose of the exit conference is to give the agency an opportunity to point out any errors of fact, call attention to additional information that might have been overlooked, and discuss conclusions and recommendations.
Based on agency comments at the exit conference, the project team will make appropriate changes to the exposure draft. A final draft, which is also confidential and not to be copied, is sent to the appropriate agency head for a written response that is typically included in the PEER report.
6 Month Follow-Up
Six months after the release of the report, the project team queries the agency regarding implementation of Recommendations in the report.
What are my Responsibilities?
As the reviewed agency, you have some responsibilities throughout the process. You are expected to accommodate PEER staff requests for information, records, explanations, and assistance. However, efforts are made to minimize agency staff time.
The project team tries to be reasonable about what it asks for and how quickly it needs information. In return, the project team expects agency staff to respond to its requests in a timely manner and to inform the project team of any delays in providing the requested information. If necessary to obtain information, the PEER Committee may issue subpoena power to compel testimony or the production of documents.
You are expected to keep any findings that we discuss with you confidential until the report is released by the PEER Committee.
These requirements have the goal of making the process fair, efficient, and useful.
If agency management has any questions about the review process, contact PEER’s executive director at 601-359-1226.
- Accommodate PEER staff requests for information
- Respond to requests in a timely manner
- Keep findings confidential until the report is released