Describe each stage of the budget process and discuss how the relationship between public policy and the budget is reflected in each stage. Identify and discuss how budgeting promotes the public interest.
2. As Director of the Department of Public Works for a medium-sized county (population 100,000), you are preparing to request that the fiscal court increase your total department budget by 40% from your previous year’s budget, primarily in response to the increase in snow removal costs during the current budget year. The overall county budget has increased by an average of 5 to 8 percent per year for the last 5 years, so an increase of this size in one department would necessitate cutting the budget for one or more of the other departments. How would the characteristics of public budgeting – particularly with regard to the multiple actors involved in the process, the separation of payers and deciders, openness to the environment, constraints, and whether the executive or legislative branch dominates the process – affect the likelihood you would be successful in obtaining the budget increase?
3. Compare and contrast the following budget types and formats, including discussion of the major aspects, strengths, and weaknesses of each: 1) line-item budgets; 2) program budgets; and 3) performance-based budgets (PBB). Discuss how budgeting can be used as: 1) a planning tool; 2) a management tool; and 3) a communications tool for public and nonprofit agencies. Explain how the budget type or format used affects accountability and transparency in public and nonprofit organizations.