Local governments are facing unprecedented new challenges. Issues confronting communities include...
Applying Priority Based Budgeting
Software solutions to transform your
budget process and optimize resources
Priority Based Budgeting identifies the cost of all government programs and aligns the budget with the strategic priorities set by elected officials by answering these three critical questions:
What do we do?
What does it cost?
Why are we in business?
Program Data for Decision Makers
Priority based budgets clarify all of the details important to decision-makers. Each program clearly states the purpose of the program, how much it costs to deliver, and how it aligns with the overall priorities of the community. Additionally, program data includes important information about mandates and the reliance the community has on the organization to provide this service. This level of understanding communicates the impact of funding changes in a way that line item budgets simply can't.
Fiscal Wellness Today and Beyond
Do the Important Things Well. Cut Back on the Rest. In a time of a deficit, a traditional budget process often attempts to continue funding all the same programs it funded last year, albeit at a reduced level (e.g. across-the-board budget cuts). Priority Based Budgeting identifies the programs that offer the highest value and continues to provide funding for them while reducing service levels, divesting, or potentially eliminating lower-value services. An incremental budget process doesn’t seriously question the spending decisions made in years past. PBB puts all the money on the table to encourage more creative conversations about services.
"Central to "rethinking" is the shift from the line item decision-making unit to a program decision-making unit within the budget process."
"PBB is one of the ways we tell our community we're being good stewards of their money. We're really giving them that way to see that we are applying resources to the most aligned community items. And that way if we ever do come and say we need more or we need to make this reduction, they can see why."
Budgets that Assign Value to Values
Budgets are how cities truly express their priorities. Traditional budgets track line items across departments, such as postage and paper. But they don’t organize line items by program or activity, making it challenging to understand where each line item goes. Traditionally, departmental budget requests would identify line items to increase or decrease. With the priority-based program budget, each request can be tied to defined programmatic outcomes and detailed information based on achieving an organization's goals.
The resulting budget shows the benefit of the PBB approach, with funding allocated for new staff, training, tools, etc., that will enable the organization to better track and be held accountable for their results.
Increases Budget Accessibility
There are many reasons to consider adopting program and priority based budgeting, but perhaps the most important is its ability to create a more transparent budget and budget development process. PBB creates and promotes data to connect departments and elected officials with the public. The foundational programmatic language facilitates a "say what you mean and mean what you say" budget process that demands accountability.
"The idea that we create a shared language in terms of how we finance operations and improve outcomes for our residents is really what is in everybody's best interest. Creating that shared space in the shared language is a huge opportunity that ResourceX creates."
Backed by Industry Leaders
The most trusted and well-known industry leaders agree... Programs are the vehicle for change.
In an update, effective in 2021, GFOA criteria now mandate the inclusion of program descriptions and program alignment to priorities. The importance of a narrative-rich budget for transparency and decision-making is now recognized in GFOA's prestigious award.
ICMA Credentialed Managers are viewed with distinction by local governing bodies due to high standards of integrity and professional development. In 2022, Priority Based Budgeting will be a part of that program ensuring these leaders bring the programmatic knowledge and approach to their communities.
Check out the ResourceX Blog: We're Doing Budgeting Differently
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