A Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Digital Imaging Project
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This study accomplishes three things. First, it provides a detailed discussion on benefit-cost analysis and how it is used in the decision making process. Second, it provides background information on digital imaging technology and discusses its current uses. Finally, it applies the technique of benefit-cost analysis to privatization of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) digital imaging project to determine if it is cost beneficial. A discussion of the scholarly literature defines the benefits and costs associated with a project and offers uses for a benefit-cost analysis. The conceptual framework links the benefits and costs of a digital imaging project to the existing literature. The operationalization of the benefit and cost variables are identified, showing how each is measured. Finally, the decision criteria of present value and net present value are used to determine the viability of the project. The results of the benefit-cost analysis of the TCEQ digital imaging project finds that it is economically viable at two discount rates. A sound benefit-cost analysis can help decision makers evaluate choices and assure the chosen project will provide the best return on investment. The findings of this study show TCEQ administrators and others considering similar projects that digital imaging is a good investment.