Monday, September 22, 2014

Transition Reports of Massachusetts State Offices

Researchers gathering information on particular executive branch state offices (i.e. agencies, offices, departments, commissions, etc.) should be aware of an important type of publication titled “Transition Report” or "Transition document".  These documents are submitted in preparation for a new administration or when other major changes are taking place, and many can be found within the library's collection.  For example, in 2006 Massachusetts agencies were required to submit transition reports in preparation for incoming Governor Deval Patrick.  These reports, which are published either by individual state offices or by their respective overseeing executive offices, provide detailed analyses on how offices are structured, how they function, and how they operate within the state government; the reports can also contain supplemental historical background information, data, and other materials.  Another reason why these reports are so important is that they are helpful in identifying any existing issues that need to be addressed in future strategic planning. The 1990 “Eight year record and transition report” issued by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) in preparation for incoming Governor William Weld does just this and includes a list of prospective problems “if present programs and policies are continued”.

It is expected that this process will continue as we get closer to the November 2014 Massachusetts statewide gubernatorial election, and it will be interesting to see what kinds of materials are published in preparation for the new incoming administration.

A transition report published by the Mass. Department of Social Services in 1990.

Kaitlin Connolly
Reference Department