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4 Factors Influencing Local Government Financial Decisions

August 24, 2023
Bill Kimball

Amounts shown are net of $6 million in budgetary savings recorded in 2012 for new loans made in the Fisheries Finance Program. Includes advisory and assistance services, medical care, subsistence and support of persons, and printing and reproduction. Subactivity —Official Federal budget line item used to denote spending and revenue transactions. Rider—Informal term for a nongermane amendment to a bill or an amendment to an appropriation bill that changes the permanent law governing a program funded by the bill. Performance Data and Analysis (PD&A)—Presents an evaluation of a bureau’s performance budget, performance results in detail, and program evaluation and procedures undertaken to validate and verify performance results.

The amendment to Statement 34 clarifies the budgetary presentation requirements for governments with significant budgetary perspective differences that result in their not being able to present budgetary comparison information for their general fund and major special revenue funds. These governments are required to present budgetary comparison schedules as required supplementary information based on the fund, organization, or program structure that the government uses for its legally adopted budget.

Much of public welfare spending is Medicaid spending, which is jointly funded by states and the federal government but administered by state governments . While state governments raised more revenues than local governments in 2018, local governments’ direct expenditures were larger than states’ because localities often administer programs with funds transferred from state governments.

budgets of government entities

Discretionary Spending Limits —Statutory limit on budget authority and outlays for discretionary programs as established in the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990. Deferral —Any executive branch action or inaction that delays the availability of budget authority for obligation. Deferrals may not extend beyond the end of the fiscal year and may be overturned at any time by either House of Congress. Congressional Directive —Instructions stated in appropriations language or in the text of any related Congressional report that require a formal response by the bureau to the Congress. In most cases, a date is specified by which a response is to be provided, or a frequency is established for recurring reports (annual, quarterly, etc.) on on-going activities. Capability Statements—Members of Congress submit written requests for new funding, earmarks, or changes in statutory language to appropriations committees and subcommittees. Through the submission of capability statements, Federal agencies are given the opportunity to state the impact of the members’ request on the agency’s programs.

Factors Influencing Local Government Financial Decisions

ABC Code —A two-digit alphanumeric code assigned at the task level and ultimately propagated down to the account structure to tie the expenditure of funds to the work and mission of the organization. Activity Allotment, DI-520 —A report of the President’s recommended budget, organized byactivity,showing increases and decreases relative to the previous year and the distribution of funding amounts estimated in the November Reapportionment. The report is submitted to the Department of the Interior by the USGS Office of Budget and Performance as Form DI-520. Meanwhile, elementary and secondary education spending grew 132 percent between 1977 and 2018. Over the same time period, real per capita and per pupil spending on K-12 education also increased. The relationships between the federal government and the states and localities are complex and are not well described by a simple look at expenditures. In some cases, the federal government pays for a program and gives broad discretion to the states as to how to carry out the mandate.

  • Designed in the form of questions, about program purpose and design, strategic planning, management, and results PART provides a systematic, transparent, and robust way of assessing program effectiveness and to inform managerial and budget recommendations.
  • The share of such obligations was also above average at the Energy Department, which obligated 10 percent of its budget for assets, primarily for land and structures used for nuclear weapons programs and environmental cleanup.
  • Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) —A high-level overview of a bureau’s performance.
  • Debt Limit —The maximum amount of outstanding Federal public debt permitted by law.
  • Consistent with the evaluation objective, government budgeting is becoming increasingly outcome-focused.
  • Standard Form 224 Statement of Transactions—A monthly report of thereconciliation of funding discrepancies between USGS reporting and what is in the Treasury Account.

The budget resolution may containreconciliation instructions, which direct Congressional committees to make changes in revenue or direct-spending laws under their jurisdictions to achieve a specified budgetary result. The legislation to implement those instructions is usually combined into one comprehensivereconciliation bill, which is then considered under special rules. Reconciliation affects revenues, direct spending, and offsetting receipts but usually not discretionary spending. Mandatory Spending (a.k.a., direct spending) —Mandatory spending provided by permanent law . A binding legal obligation by the Federal Government to provide financial assistance or benefits to an eligible individual, program, or activity (e.g., Social Security).

Budget Of The U S Government For The Fiscal Year Of 2022, By Agency

Assets can be acquired for use in direct program activities, as those examples illustrate; they can also be acquired for administrative support, as in the case of software systems for payroll management. One reason is that some direct obligations are intragovernmental transfers, which budgets may count more than once because they affect multiple budget accounts. Offsetting Collections —Funds collected by government agencies from other government accounts or from the public in businesslike or market-oriented transactions that are required by law to be credited directly to an expenditure account. Offsetting collections, treated as negative budget authority and outlays, are credits against the budget authority and outlays of the account to which the collections are credited.

Given the diversity of budgetary and financial reporting found in the individual states, the process described here may be customized to conform to particular local and state requirements. Additionally, the following discussion is typical of districts that use a site-based budgeting approach. Site-based budgeting is widely considered the most practical for budgeting within the school district environment, by providing greater control and reporting of school-level data.

In a strict performance budgeting environment, budgeted expenditures are based on a standard cost of inputs multiplied by the number of units of an activity to be provided in that time period. The total budget for an organization is the sum of all the standard unit costs multiplied by the units expected to be provided.

Government Budget

Identify all activities that must be included in the calendar and arrange them chronologically. If several calendars are used with varying levels of detail, they should be summarized in a master calendar to ensure that all activities and dates are consistent and compatible.

The apportionment process is intended to prevent obligation of funds in a manner that would require supplemental or deficiency appropriations and to achieve the most effective and economical use of amounts made available for obligation. Public welfare includes spending on means-tested programs, such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Supplemental Security Income.4Spending on health and hospitals was another 9 percent of state and local direct expenditures. This may be accomplished through the process outlined in the previous chapter on financial forecasting and planning. A committee may be created specifically for capital planning or as part of a strategic planning effort.

Anti-Deficiency Act —A law that establishes processes and assigns responsibilities for accountability in spending the taxpayer’s money. Opposes (anti-) deficiency by setting guidelines to keep Federal organizations from becoming deficient.

Output—Any product or service generated from the consumption of resources and can include information generated by the completion of a task or activity. No-Year Appropriation —An appropriation that is obligated for an indefinite period. The unobligated balances of one-year and multi-year appropriations revert to the Treasury at the end of the period for which they are provided. Initiative —Funding proposal, including performance impact, multi-year budget expectations, and outline of work for new or enhanced program work or direction.

Allocations, 302 —After the overall level of discretionary spending is set by the annualbudget resolution,the Senate and House appropriations committees suballocate funding targets to the 13 subcommittees in each chamber. 302 refers to the section of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (P.L. 93–344) governing this procedure. Cash forecasting is also necessary for activities or programs that extend to multiple operating periods, such as major facilities construction and acquisition.

Department Of Energy

Achieving substantial budgetary savings from eliminating one of these departments would require reducing or eliminating the programs operated by that department. Of the Cabinet departments’ 2012 obligations, 12 percent was for personnel compensation and benefits. Three departments—Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security—accounted for 70 percent, 7 percent, and 6 percent, respectively, of the 15 departments’ 2012 direct obligations in the category.

How large a market would exist for private crop insurance in the absence of the federal coverage is unclear—and because such insurance would not be subsidized, it would not raise average incomes. Conversely, in cases in which users would not voluntarily pay enough to cover the cost of producing a program’s goods and services, the private sector would be unlikely to fill the federal role if the program was eliminated. Some such cases involve goods or services that are produced most efficiently by a single provider and then can be shared by many consumers at little incremental cost—the collection and dissemination of data of broad public interest, for example. A private firm might not find it worthwhile to conduct the surveys underlying the consumer price index if it could not restrict the results to those who paid for access. Also, such information would be most efficiently collected by a single entity, rather than competing ones, so if that entity was private, policy issues regarding regulation of monopolists would arise.

Although site-based budgeting may provide substantial benefits, it also has limitations. First, organizations with limited resources may not be capable of granting a meaningful level of site-based budgetary authority.

For the NNSA as a whole, facilities O&M contracts accounted for 75 percent of the $11 billion total; acquisition of land and structures accounted for another 9 percent (see Table 6-3). The rest of the department’s budget covers six other agencies and departmental management, with collective obligations of $1.2 billion in 2012.

In contrast, only 12 percent of the combined budgets of the 15 departments is for personnel, an area that is likely to include more administrative costs. For other departments, such as the Department of Homeland Security , personnel costs are a much larger share of their budget because they are producing a service themselves, such as providing airport security screeners. This category of departmental obligations encompasses grants, subsidies, and predetermined payments for insurance claims, interest payments , and refunds. The category also includes payments to state and local governments to fund a wide variety of activities, including elementary and secondary education and the construction of highways and wastewater treatment systems. The rest of the category consists of payments to businesses and organizations, such as farmers, researchers at universities, small businesses, and hospitals. Complete data on the distribution of grants and fixed charges are not readily available, but 2012 outlay data show that, once interest payments are omitted, individuals received more than eight times as much from the 15 departments as state and local governments did. In the long run, spending on a transferred program would be determined by the amount of appropriations it receives or eligibility rules and formulas —but the cost of achieving a given level of program outputs could go up or down as a result of a transfer.

The Fisheries Finance Program had direct obligations of $6 million and budgetary savings of $6 million from new loans. The size of individual departments’ budgets, as measured by their net expenditures in fiscal year 2012, ranged from $848 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to $10 billion for the Department of Commerce. The departments with the three largest budgets—HHS, Defense, and the Treasury—accounted for about three-fourths of the spending by all the departments. The next three largest departments were Agriculture, Labor, and Veterans Affairs. Unfunded Mandate —A provision in Federal law or regulation that imposes a duty or obligation on a State or local government or private sector entity without providing the necessary funds to comply.