This course is about developing skills primarily used to prepare for a budgeting process. These skills include budget preparation, submission, and defense of requested appropriations.
We will examine public sector budgeting from the perspective of agency and departmental managers. We’ll also analyze issues that are involved in planning, developing, tracking, and implementing an agency or departmental budget.
Each week represents a progression toward the final goal of developing not just a baseline budget but also a budget that includes measurable performance objectives that highlight what will be accomplished with the allocated funds.
The course begins with identifying and understanding terms, methods, and procedures. From there we will begin to develop the skills required to read and understand financial statements. You cannot begin to prepare a budget statement if you do not understand financial statements related to sources of revenues and expenditures.
With this basic understanding of terms and how to read financial statements, you can now move onto using inflation and time value of money to adjust your appropriation requests: a necessary step in developing a baseline budget.
Taxpayers have always wanted to know what the agency will do with the tax dollars committed to public safety. It is at this point that you will learn how to integrate performance measurements into your baseline budget proposal. This is the point at which you assemble the baseline allocation requests that involve cost estimations and attach the performance measurements.
Now that you have your baseline budget and performance objectives developed it is time to understand the budget justification process to include the technical and political skills required. You will be writing a budget justification statement.
Finally, you will evaluate an actual criminal justice budget based on the criteria and skills you have developed throughout the course.
To develop the necessary skills to effectively analyze this actual budget you will be required to complete all assignments (written and discussions) that will progressively take you through the budget process, from understanding terms to a skill level that prepares you to analyze a budget process and document.