Budgeting in Public Administration

Budgeting in Public Administration has got to be one of the most difficult budgeting areas to work in as there are continual demands on the purse and people think that the purse is bottomless. No matter how well informed the department is, there is always the odd emergency that can cause you to dig deep into funds that have already been allocated elsewhere. Public Administration is about planning ahead and planning for other peoples emergencies. Not an easy task!

There is no magic formula. You can look very carefully at past budgets and try to get a feel for past expenditures. Use the personal touch and talk to people in the departments that are funded through public administration. This way you will get a better idea where their allocated budget is being spent and they will get a better idea of how you have to juggle finance in the face any unforeseen expenses. This information can then be applied to your own budget and the way that you may balance the budget between different departments or projects and give you an idea of how much needs to be kept back based on seasonal spending.

The personal touch also means that you can help advise on how other departments spend their budgets, discuss what is essential and what is extras in the service that they provide. These issues can then be passed on to the people who work in the department. They will then feel that they are part of the budgeting process and will hopefully work more efficiently without having to cut corners. By face to face meetings you can also get a feel for equipment that may be realistically shared by departments rather than being replicated at vast expenses. This may not go down to well to begin with but there is no point in duplicating equipment that is rarely used of the sake of it having dedicated use to one project or department only. This is also help different departments see themselves as part of a larger team rather than separate entities.

You may have the ultimate responsibility for the budget but by sharing the issues that given the budget rather than shoulder the whole of the decision making process. It will give other a sense of pride and ownership in the process. You won’t be the one that always says 'no', because people will have a greater understanding of the budget priorities and know not to ask unless it is a real emergency.

Updated: 23 Jan, 2020 © LakkshyaEducation.com. All rights reserved.