The Final Project for this course bridges the gap between theory and practice in public budgeting and financial management by focusing on what professionals and administrators actually do in the field. To this end, your task is to analyze an actual budget, offering insight, analysis, and recommendations about the chosen agency.
Your first task is to find a public budget to analyze. It is suggested you focus on a city/county department, a small municipality/township, a school district, a special district (such as a forest preserve district, stadium district, or water district), a community college, a small public university, or a single state agency. Be sure not to choose a budget that is too large to analyze in one written exercise. Most budgets are readily available on the institution’s website or by contacting the budgeting/finance department. Many local libraries will also have these documents.
In your analysis, you should address the following items/questions:
Offer a brief overview of your chosen agency. What are its primary functions and roles in the community?
What are the primary expenditures for your chosen agency?
How do these expenditures determine public policy priorities?
Has the agency’s budget increased or decreased since last year? What does this indicate about the success of the agency and its ability to deliver services?
Is the agency allocating resources wisely?
What recommendations would you offer, in terms of resource allocation, for the agency in the future?
The entire budgetary analysis should be 8 to 10 pages in length and should be submitted in Unit VIII. The Final Project must incorporate no fewer than five (5) peer-reviewed journal articles to bolster your analysis of the budget. You should be able to apply the theories learned in class to your case. The project must conform to APA format, and all sources must be properly cited and referenced.
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