Document Type


Publication Date



Government Contracts -- Research, Social Services -- Research


This article provides a greater understanding of the contract monitoring process by identifying barriers that prevent contracted providers from using service monitoring tools properly. To evaluate barriers to proper tool use, seven case studies were conducted on early childhood programs in three communities in upstate New York. The case studies specifically focused on the reporting forms that the early childhood programs completed. Data sources included (a) interviews with government agency and contracted provider employees, (b) content analysis of key documents relating to the service monitoring tools, and (c) attendance at meetings between government agencies and contracted providers on the service monitoring tools. This article identifies lack of contracted provider ability and misunderstandings between government and contracted providers as key barriers to proper tool use. This study also finds evidence suggesting a link between the overall strength of technical assistance systems and understanding problems.


This is the accepted version of a paper published in The American Review of Public Administration. This paper has been peer-reviewed but does not include the final publisher proof-corrections or journal pagination

Publisher Attribution

The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in The American Review of Public Administration, Vol.38(3), 362-379, 2008. published by SAGE Publishing, All rights reserved.

Lambright, Kristina Trent. (2008). Getting what you ask for: Barriers to proper use of service monitoring tools. American Review of Public Administration, 38(3), 362-379. doi: 10.1177/0275074007309150



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