Posted by William Nunnelley on 2005-08-01

The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) received two national awards for its work from the Governmental Research Association (GRA) at the organization’s recent annual conference in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The first award, presented for Outstanding Policy Achievement, was for a project entitled "State Budget Reform." The project consisted of a series of publications and related activities over 16 years, beginning in 1989, culminating in the implementation of “SMART Budgeting” by the State of Alabama in 2004 and continuing consulting work by PARCA to extend and develop the reform.

The second award, for Most Distinguished Research, was for a report, “Analysis of Non-Instructional Expenditures, Staffing, and Operating Practices in the Huntsville City School System.” This study, the first of its type to be performed in Alabama, provides a detailed analysis of spending and staffing in four categories of non-instructional operations and gives the school system a foundation for strategic planning based on best-practice analysis.

James Williams, Jr., is executive director of PARCA, located at Samford University. Charles Booth and Gerry Waters are senior research associates and Marci Edwards is research associate.

GRA awards recognize exceptional research on state and local governmental issues performed by staff members of governmental research agencies.

Established in 1914, the Governmental Research Association is the national organization of individuals professionally engaged in governmental research. Governmental research involves the collection, analysis, and distribution of factual information on governmental activities to citizens and officials for the improvement of government and the reduction of its cost. The association fosters the establishment of governmental research agencies, aids and coordinates the activities of governmental research agencies and facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences among the professional staff of such agencies.