About JLARC

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) conducts policy analysis, program evaluation, and oversight of state agencies on behalf of the Virginia General Assembly. The duties of the Commission are authorized by the Code of Virginia.

Principles

Our agency’s work is based on a strong individual and organizational commitment to four principles:

Integrity — JLARC staff are charged with serving the public interest and not being influenced by the pressures of other interests.

Rigor — JLARC staff present only those findings that are based on clear and current evidence that can withstand strenuous scrutiny.

Objectivity — JLARC staff maintain—and must be seen to maintain—objectivity. JLARC staff should not prejudge an agency or program to be evaluated. Findings and recommendations should only be influenced by evidence obtained.

Nonpartisanship — JLARC staff do not take part in partisan political activity or in public comment on political issues. It is essential that staff not be perceived as supporting the partisan interests of any particular political party.

We take these principles very seriously. Please contact the JLARC director or an associate director if you have questions about how we ensure these principles guide our work.

Goals

Our agency’s work seeks to achieve three important goals:

An informed legislature — JLARC’s work helps inform citizen legislators about agencies, programs, and activities. A primary objective for JLARC is to gather, evaluate, and report information and make recommendations that can be used in legislative decision making. Reports provide information that may be useful to legislators during deliberation on legislation, during committee hearings, and in responding to constituent questions or requests for assistance.

Compliance with legislative intent — We help ensure that laws are being carried out as the legislature intended. In some cases, intent may not have been clearly understood by program administrators; in other cases, statements of intent may have been ignored. In those instances where legislative intent is not explicit in statute, we can assess and report to the General Assembly on how an agency has decided to implement its mission.

Effectiveness, efficiency, and cost savings — We are required by statute to make recommendations on ways state agencies may achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. Achieving efficiency means finding ways to accomplish the same tasks at reduced cost; achieving effectiveness means finding ways to better accomplish program and agency objectives. In some instances, improving effectiveness may require additional spending. We are often, though, able to identify cost savings through better program design or implementation.