UBC Theses and Dissertations
Revenue recovery strategies for the Alaska public cabin program Keeler, Kevin R.
This thesis evaluates a range of policy analysis techniques for application to an issue of policy choice. Divergent premises of two policy alternatives are defined and evaluated using policy impact analysis techniques. The two policy alternatives concern revenue recovery for the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation public use cabin (PUC) program. The lack of a mechanism to recover revenues from program user fees is the primary constraint for the operation and development of the PUC program. The Division has proposed that the Alaska Legislature authorize the implementation of a program receipts policy. Because past legislative initiatives for program receipts have failed, Division staff have proposed implementation of a concessionaire strategy. This thesis determines which policy would ensure the continued operation and development of the PUC program. Classification analysis is used to categorize the operational strengths and weaknesses of each policy, and agency influence over these characteristics. Assumptional analysis is used to define the divergent premises of policy makers. These premises are developed as scenarios of program operations within the framework of a structured policy debate. The impacts of the scenarios are forecast using policy impact analysis techniques, and recommendations are made for an optimum policy strategy. A significant weakness of the program receipts policy is that it is uncertain whether it will be authorized by the Legislature. The failure of Legislative authorization is forecast to have significant mid-term impacts on the PUC program. The primary impact would be the deterioration of facilities; combined with further budget cutbacks, the Division may be forced to abandon the PUC program. Implementation of a concessions strategy would provide a viable alternative for program operations and development. Therefore, concessionaire operation is recommended as a contingency strategy to the program receipts policy. The methods applied to this case study are useful for either the development of, or the critical evaluation of policy directives. The techniques of assumptional analysis or the structured policy debate can be used to identify the assumptions and premises of policy makers. The structured policy debate also provides a means to check the logic of a policy argument. Policy impact analysis provides a means of forecasting or measuring the outcome of implementation. Taken together, the techniques provide for a normative evaluation of issues of policy choice.
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