Public Budgeting and Policy Analysis
Course Summary:

This course provides you with an introduction to Public Budgeting. You will not only learn how the public administrator or nonprofit executive can use budgeting as a financial and management accounting tool but as a leadership enabler in developing and deploying policy in the public or non-profit organization’s work.

The course will also provide you familiarity with the process of public budgeting and with the terms that shape its language. You will learn about issues that affect the budgeting process, such as politics, political ideas and traditions, and policy analysis. You will also have the opportunity to explore public budgeting from the viewpoint of a local municipality as the ultimate intent of your instructors is to help you to formulate your own public budgeting beliefs, attitudes and process.

Course Objectives:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the core terms and concepts in public budgeting
  • Apply course material concerning the major themes in public budgeting
  • Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, analyze, and contextualize budget materials, including public and non-profit budgets, financial plans, and supporting material
  • Apply course material to current fiscal affairs facing governments and non-profits
  • Demonstrate an understanding of budget execution
  • Prepare and communicate the contents of a public budget
  • Explain how and why public budgeting is much more than the collecting and managing of numbers that represent how tax dollars will be collected, moneys borrowed, and spent.
  • Explain how and why the budgeting process can be used a communication tool in connecting the elected with the populace.
  • Explain how and why the public budgeting process can be a lever aligning problems, politics and solutions.
  • Explain how and why the public budgeting process can launch the public sector down the path of performance management. 

Course Outline

Interpret Budgets within a Specific Sector

  • Budgeting in the public sector
  • Role and purpose of budgets in a specific sector according to legislation
  • Principals of budgeting in terms of application
  • Components of a budget within a specific sector as per legislation

Evaluate Budget Formats and Approaches to Budgeting

  • Budgeting formats – Introduction
  • Range of budget formats
  • Budget costing approaches

Manage Data for Preparing a Budget

  • Principles and goals of the fiscal framework
  • Budgetary requirement
  • Financial analysis of the fiscal framework
  • Compile information for a budget utilising policy, strategic and performance plans
  • Importance of monitoring and evaluation
  • Medium term expenditure guidelines

Estimate Budget Using Prescribed Formats

  • Annual budget according to appropriate approaches and prescribed formats
  • Cash flow estimation

Prepare Motivation for Budgetary Requests

  • Motivation for budgetary request
  • Standard Chart of Accounts (SCoA)
  • Eight segments of SCoA
  • Item segment classification of revenue (receipts)
  • Item segment classification of expenditure (payments)

Prepare Budget Based on Approved Amounts

  • Budget request to role players
  • Basic steps required to finalise budget allocation
  • Prepared and finalise budgets in accordance with organisation practices and principles

The Role and Size of the Public Sector

  • Economic Rationale for Public Sector Interventions:
  • Market Efficiency and Market Failure, Distributional Concerns
  • The Nature and Magnitude of Public Sector Interventions:
  • Defining the Responsibilities and Measuring the Size of the Public Sector
  • Understanding a Nation’s Fiscal Architecture:
  • Building Appropriate Revenue and Expenditure Systems, Government Failure

Public Expenditure Policy

  • Megaprojects
  • Government Social Protection Policies
  • Public Sector Production and Provision and Private Sector Participation/Public-Private
  • Partnerships in Production and Provision (PSP/PPP)

Public Resource Mobilization

  • Economics of Taxation
  • Taxation of Income and Wealth
  • Taxation of Consumption
  • Taxation and the Environment, Taxation and Natural Resources
  • Tax Incentives
  • Tax Compliance and Enforcement, Tax Reform
  • User Charges

Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and Local Government Finance

  • Fiscal Federalism and Fiscal Decentralization
  • Resource Transfers and Own Source Revenue
  • Local Government Debt Financing