Week 7 Discussion 1
From the first e-Activity, discuss two (2) recommendations the authors make regarding the applicability of performance budgeting to the current United States government.
Recommendation 1: A common thread of modern public budgetary reforms is improving the transparency and accountability of government – specifically by measuring and reporting on government performance and assessing the results of government operations and programs. However, federal efforts at a results oriented budgeting system to date, have greatly enhanced the transparency of government operations at this level though have not extended past what is termed by Joyce (2003) as “performance informed budgeting”. That is, a direct relationship between performance and budget allocation is not clear, even though information about federal government program performance is much more pervasive and readily available to budgetary decision makers internal to government as well as stakeholders (citizens, lobbyists, constituents and others) external to government.
Recommendation 2: It is now common to find performance budgeting efforts linked to other public management initiatives, such as strategic planning. Strategic planning requires goal definition, which in turn sets the stage for the measurement of those program activities necessary to reach such goals. In addition, Performance-based budgeting (PBB) aims to link, in a binding and comprehensive way, strategic planning objectives, expenditure appropriations and expected results from government programs.
Assume you have been appointed as the new budget analyst for a federal agency. Propose two to three (2-3) strategies for connecting performance indicators to the budget.
Strategy 1: Government has adopted the private sector’s strategic planning approach to help set priorities and allocate scarce resources in a changing environment. Too often, however, public-sector strategic planning is an event or worse, just a document. A state’s strategic plan is presented with much fanfare and then just fades away. Or an agency prepares a strategic plan to meet executive or legislative mandates but does not use the plan to direct agency activities.
Strategic planning is a continuous process that requires constant feedback about how the current strategies are working. The market tells the private sector how it is doing. Profit levels, return on investments, and sales trends let businesses know when they need to adjust their strategies. Performance measurement provides the public sector with comparable information.
Strategy 2: Performance measurement relies on specified end outcomes not just activities, but the results of those activities. The strategic plan’s goals and objectives focus performance measurement on outcomes and help define appropriate performance indicators. However, the strategic plan defines the performance to be measured, while performance measurement provides the feedback that keeps the strategic plan on target.
Strategy 3: Develop an inventory of informational needs based on interviews with users and analysis of data requested by units on a routine basis (e.g., for accreditation reports, for grant proposals, for program review self-study, for assessment, for resource allocation).
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