Friday, March 14, 2008

This sounds promising-maybe

"Performance Based Budgeting" can be just another way for bureaucrats to evangelize for more money but any effort to simplify and clarify budget documents is worth trying. Most County Commissioners go glassy eyed when reviewing the budget.


With the opening of a new school, as well as facing rising gas and electricity costs, County Mayor Carolyn Bowers said the county will have to have to act conservatively when approving budget requests.

"We hope with strategic planning, it'll make department heads look at what's important for the public," Bowers said.

She said Budget Committee members will scrutinize each budget line by line, but the strategic planning may make it easier to understand the need for certain requests.

Rather than presenting pages of dollar amounts associated with generic line items, department leaders will be required to list everything they want to purchase, said Accounts and Budgets Director Betty Burchett.

With personnel, for example, the budget will include a narrative summary justifying the need for each requested position and possible effects if a position is rejected.

Burchett said performance-based budgeting will be applied to 2009-10 budget cycle to determine how each department fared with the added and cut items from the 2008-09 budget.

"This is just a tool to look at the efficiency of each department," Burchett said.