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POLSC241: Introduction to Public Administration

Unit 5: Public Budgeting   This unit is designed to provide insight into the process of public budgeting.  The politics of budgeting is used to establish the context in which public administrators must operate.  In this unit, you will be introduced to various types of budgets and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 15.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 5 hours

☐    Introduction: 0.5 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.1: 0.75 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.2: 1 hour

☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.3: 0.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 5.4.4: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.5: 7.5 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Recognize important concepts and issues in public budgeting. - Describe the phases of the budget cycle and understand the relationship between each phase. - Compare and contrast different types of public budgets. 

5.1 Legislative and Executive Authority at the Federal Level   - Reading: The White House: “Mission and Structure of the Office of Management and Budget” Link: The White House: “Mission and Structure of the Office of Management and Budget” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire webpage linked above to learn
more about the federal budget process.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: YouTube: Aspen Ideas Festival: “A Conversation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag” Link: YouTube: Aspen Ideas Festival: “A Conversation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch Director Orszag’s commentary on the federal budget.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2 Sources of Revenue   - Reading: Florida International University: Sukumar Ganapati’s “Public Budgeting and Financial Management” Link: Florida International University: Sukumar Ganapati’s “Public Budgeting and Financial Management” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire
webpage.  Pay particular attention to sources of revenue listed in
the reading.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Urban Institute and Brookings Institution: Tax Policy Center’s “State and Local Tax Policy: What are Sources of Revenue for State Governments?” Link: Urban Institute and Brookings Institution: Tax Policy Center’s “State and Local Tax Policy: What are Sources of Revenue for State Governments?” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please visit the website linked above to learn more about sources of revenue.

    Reading this material should take approximately 10 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government: Robert B. Ward’s “State Revenues in an Era of Fundamental Change” Link: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government: Robert B. Ward’s “State Revenues in an Era of Fundamental Change” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, scroll down to the article title, and click on the link to download the PDF.  Please review the slideshow presentation on state revenues available as a PDF.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 The Budget Cycle   - Reading: The National League of Cities: “The Public Budget” Link: The National League of Cities: “The Public Budget” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire
webpage.  Pay particular attention to the budget cycle discussed at
the beginning of the reading.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Policy Basics: The ABCs of State Budgets” Link: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Policy Basics: The ABCs of State Budgets” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read the overview of state budgeting linked above.

    Reading this material should take approximately 10 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.4 Types of Budgets   - Reading: Charlie Tyler and Jennifer Willand’s “Public Budgeting in America: A Twentieth Century Retrospective” Link: Charlie Tyler and Jennifer Willand’s “Public Budgeting in America: A Twentieth Century Retrospective” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire
webpage.  Tyler and Willand address types of budgets listed above
with a variety of examples.  

 Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.4.1 Line-Item Budgets   - Reading: National Center for Education Statistics: “Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems – Chapter 3: Budgeting” Link: National Center for Education Statistics: “Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems – Chapter 3: Budgeting” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire
webpage.  Pay particular attention to the section on line item
budgeting in the section on budgetary approaches.  

 Reading this chapter should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: State of Massachusetts: “Sample Line Item Budget: Anytown Public Library” Link: State of Massachusetts: “Sample Line Item Budget: Anytown Public Library” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the “PDF” link to download the PDF.  Please review the sample line item budget.  Pay particular attention to the item-by-item budget in this example.

    Studying this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.4.2 Planning, Programming, and Budgeting Systems   - Reading: U.S. Department of Defense, 37th Annual DOD Cost Analysis Symposium: “DOD’s Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

5.4.3 Zero-Based Budgeting   - Reading: Mackinac Center for Public Policy: Michael D. LaFaive’s “The Pros and Cons of Zero-Based Budgeting” Link: Mackinac Center for Public Policy: Michael D. LaFaive’s “The Pros and Cons of Zero-Based Budgeting” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the testimony LaFaive provided to the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.  

 Reading this testimony should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

5.4.4 Performance-Based Budgeting   - Reading: Government Finance Officers Association, Best Practices in Public Budgeting: “Program and Performance Based Budget and Piloting Project” Link: Government Finance Officers Association, Best Practices in Public Budgeting: “Program and Performance Based Budget and Piloting Project” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, select “Budget
Practice Examples,” and scroll down to section 7.3 to open
information on the pilot project in San Jose.  Read this entire text
(4 pages).  

 Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Anwar Shah (ed.)’s Budgeting and Budgetary Institutions: Anwar Shah and Chunli Shen’s “Chapter 5: A Primer on Performance Budgeting” Link: Anwar Shah (ed.)’s Budgeting and Budgetary Institutions: Anwar Shah and Chunli Shen’s “Chapter 5: A Primer on Performance Budgeting” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above to access the PDF, and read “Chapter 5: A Primer on Performance Budgeting” on pages 137–175.  Professors Shah and Shen provide a detailed narrative on types of budgets, particularly performance-based budgets.

    Reading this chapter should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.5 Budget Reform   - Reading: National Academy of Public Administration: “Moving from Scorekeeper to Strategic Partner: Improving Financial Management” Link: National Academy of Public Administration: “Moving from Scorekeeper to Strategic Partner: Improving Financial Management” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, select “View Full
Report” to download to the PDF on the NAPA website, and read the
entire text (32 pages) to learn more about recommendations for
budgetary reform.  

 Studying this material should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: John R. Bartle’s “Applying Pragmatism to Public Budgeting and Financial Management” Link: John R. Bartle’s “Applying Pragmatism to Public Budgeting and Financial Management” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the “View/Open” hyperlink to download the PDF.  Read the entire text (16 pages).  Please pay particular attention to the integration of theory and practice throughout the article.

    Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Government Finance Officers Association’s Best Practices in Public Budgeting: “A Framework for Improving State and Local Government Budgeting” Link: Government Finance Officers Association’s Best Practices in Public Budgeting: “A Framework for Improving State and Local Government Budgeting” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the “Click here” link to download “A Framework for Improving State and Local Government Budgeting.  Read the entire text (87 pages).  On the main webpage linked above, you may want to optionally explore the Budget Practices and Budget Examples sections.

    Studying this material and exploring the practice and examples should take approximately 5 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.