Oklahoma’s Milestone Payment System


State Policies & Initiatives: 

“ESS' Oklahoma Milestone Payment System received awards from the Ford Foundation and the Harvard School of Business, as well as other government groups, for cutting government spending, improving service delivery and increasing consumer satisfaction by linking payment for contract services to a series of checkpoints, or milestones, on the way to specific goals or outcomes, such as employment.”

The Milestone payment system integrates Total Quality Management concepts with payment mechanisms. Total Quality Management (TQM) is defined as “…a continuous improvement process which involves participatory management and makes use of teamwork.”1 TQM concepts are at the heart of the Reinventing Government and National Performance Review advocated by Vice President Gore. TQM is customer-driven, involving employees at all levels and using a team approach to eliminate waste and continuously improve quality.2  The fundamental problem that Womack et. al., identified for business systems is identical for government-funded programs. They state that the “…problems are inherent in the system’s incentive structure and logic.”3 The Milestone system rethinks the logic and incentive structure of the process for purchasing vocational services.

  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging